Balsamic Vinegar: The Black Gold of Modena

Bona Furtuna's Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is soaked in tradition. The sweet, syrupy liquid savored by the drop is a culinary discovery that will transport you to a different time and place. The patience and dedication required to produce our Aged Balsamic Vinegar is a family's work of passion, keeping the process and their heritage alive.

The city of Modena is in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. While also the home of Ferrari and Lamborghini sports cars, in the culinary world Modena is best known for its aceto balsamico tradizionale. Only a few families in the region still produce balsamic vinegar here. Our Aged Balsamic Vinegar is produced by the Pedroni family of Acetaia Pedroni, who've been producing traditional balsamic vinegar in Modena for 160 years.

The rich, complex flavors are developed over many years. The single ingredient, grape must, is cooked below boiling point for 12-24 hours to concentrate the natural sugars in the grapes. After cooking, the must ferments outside in closed tanks from September to February. There is no yeast added for this fermentation however- the Modena region is rich in airborne wild yeasts that attack the cooked must and start the alcoholic fermentation. The fermented must is then transferred to the mother barrels, where bacteria transforms the alcohol into acetic acid, a.k.a vinegar. From the mother barrel the vinegar will be moved to the batteria, a set of wooden barrels in the attic where the vinegar will cycle through stages of evaporation through the course of a year, graduating to smaller barrels over the years and concentrating the vinegar more and more every year. Some of the barrels at Acetaia Pedroni are 160 years old, started by Giuseppe Pedroni when the family began making their first balsamic vinegars. These wooden barrels, having been used for decades, is where the intense, expressive notes characteristic of true balsamic vinegar are acquired.

The tradizionale DOP balsamic vinegars will go through this process for 12 years or 25 years (extravecchio), giving it a perfect balance of sweet with a slight acidity. A set of barrels was traditionally started when a child was born and gifted to the parents. The resulting vinegar would be gifted to the son/daughter and their in-laws upon marriage later in life.

The IGP balsamic vinegar variety is intended for everyday use. While still geographically protected, the IGP can have a greater variety in ageing. The minimum for an Invecchiato IGP vinegar is 3 years. Bona Furtuna's Invecchiato Aged Balsamic Vinegar has been aged for 7 years, giving it a greater depth of flavors to discover.

The acidity and healthy bacteria used to produce balsamic vinegar make it a very healthy elixir for the body. The word balsamico itself is derived from the Latin word for balm, meaning "health-giving." Balsamic is a digestive, which is why it makes such a good pairing for dessert. It was even used by Luciano Pavarotti to rinse his throat before singing.

To truly appreciate our aged balsamic vinegars, take your time with them. Close your eyes as you taste a drop of our 12-Year or 25-Year Tradizionale Vinegars. Or taste the complexity of our 7-Year IGP Balsamic Vinegar drizzled over fresh strawberries.

DOP Aged Balsamic Vinegar with food
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