Thursday, March 21, 2013

Italian Days Food Experience – Part 3

     Our third stop on the Italian Days Food Experience was at Villa San Donnino in Modena, where we learned the secrets of the famous Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP. This is not the kind of “balsamic” you buy in the grocery store. This is a single family producing small amounts, using the ancient technique of aging local wine in oak barrels, as their family has done for generations.
     This product is protected by The Consortium of Producers of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and can only be bottled after passing a series of tests by a board of expert tasters, in 100 cc bottles, the only legally approved bottle to be used by all producers. Each individual bottle is numbered and sealed. The Consortium also keeps a sample from each batch of bottles as a guaranty of the quality of the corresponding bottle lot. To be certified Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP, it has to be a minimum of twelve years old.
     We had the opportunity to taste 5-year balsamico and compared it with 15 and 45-year balsamico. It was so good we ate it on homemade gelato…YUM! We also brought home several bottles for our pantry.

     To cap off the day, Alessandro took us to a countryside trattoria, where we were served a “light lunch”, which consisted of more fabulous food and wine than I could eat in three days! When we were finished eating, we were delivered back to our hotel in a food coma, to take a long nap. It was a wonderful day!

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