Balsamic vinegar, Glossary and Terms, Meat, Fish, Fruit, Grocery Food Stores

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"Balsamic vinegar"

Balsamic vinegar is an aged reduction of white sweet grapes (Trebbiano for red and Spergola for white sauvignon) that are boiled to syrup. The grapes are cooked very slowly in copper cauldrons over an open flame until the water content is reduced by over 50%. The resulting "grape must" is placed into wooden barrels where older balsamic vinegar is added to assist in the acetification. Each year the vinegar is transferred to different wood barrels so that the vinegar can obtain some of the flavors of the different woods. The only approved woods are oak, cherry, chestnut, mulberry, cacia, juniper, and ash. Balsamic vinegar can only be produced in the regions of Modena and Reggio in Italy.
History: The first historical reference to balsamic vinegar dates back to 1046, when a bottle of balsamic vinegar was reportedly given to Emperor Enrico III of Franconia as a gift. In the middle Ages, it was used as a disinfectant.
Check out Linda's article on Balsamic Vinegar.

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