Is it possible to replace Balsamic Vinegar in recipes? The long tradition and history of an unmistakable product that can hardly find substitutes.
Balsamic vinegar, Traditional DOP of Modena and Reggio Emilia and IGP of Modena, are exceptional products of Italian cuisine that bring with them a very ancient history and a unique prestige, difficult to replace. This dressing is known all over the world and is a real treasure to bring on our tables. Despite finding products that attempt to get closer to the high quality of Balsamic vinegar DOP and IGP, these fall short because the original dressings have olfactory and taste qualities that make it decidedly recognizable.
The tradition of a unique dressing
The rebirth of the myth of Balsamic Vinegar dates back to the time of the ancient Romans who used it both as a medicine and as a seasoning. King Henry III, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, defined it ‘perfect vinegar’. Moving on to the period of the Renaissance of 1500, we find the vinegar produced by the Estense Court in the province of Modena, the native region of this seasoning. This in the second half of the 1800s, the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia are annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, the quality of this vinegar is such that it is exhibited in the main fairs and gastronomic exhibitions of the time. Arriving in the third Millennium, Balsamic Vinegar gets the recognition it rightly deserves. In 2000 the “Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” was awarded the Protected Designation of Origin (DOP). In 2009 it was up to the “Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” now recognized as IGP.
Balsamic Vinegar reflects the flavours and scents of a territory: Modena and Reggio Emilia
The province of Modena and Reggio Emilia are characterized by a culinary and wine tradition very important and famous all over the world. Knowing how to eat well and choose carefully what to bring on the table is fundamental for the Emilians. In these lands the local cuisine has always won awards and Forbes has named the cuisine of Emilia Romagna as the best in the world. It is no coincidence that even one of the best creative cuisine restaurants in the world is in this region. We are talking about Osteria Francescana, Michelin-starred restaurant.
Balsamic Vinegar has a unique and unmistakable flavour
For wines, sommeliers use all the five senses in order to judge and best express their opinion. Also for Balsamic Vinegar there is an association founded in 1967, called “Consorteria of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar”, which has the task of judging with the utmost rigour the quality of Balsamic Vinegar. For their highest quality product must adhere to a precise processing and subsequent maturation. The seasoning aromas and perfumes are analysed in detail to be approved by these experts. A low quality vinegar that would like to replace Balsamic Vinegar would certainly not pass to the control of experts. Once you taste the traditional and original product you can’t be content with products that do not meet the same standards.
In addition to contributing to the taste of our dishes, Balsamic Vinegar is also a valuable ally for our health. There are so many contributions to our body. It is essential to use it as a condiment if you are following a diet. It contains very few calories and acetic vinegar helps to burn fat. Another characteristic is that it helps to fight free radicals, very harmful elements to the human body. Its antiseptic properties have been known since the Middle Ages where it was used to fight numerous infections of bacterial and viral origin.
As we have seen the Balsamic Vinegar DOP and Balsamic Vinegar IGP have a history and a millenary tradition and its particular characteristics make it really unique. Let us not confuse it with low-quality products and try to replace it. It is good to always check the quality labels and bring on our table only the flavours and goodness of the authentic tradition of Modena.