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Local Eats

Home Cooking & Takeout in Roslindale, West Roxbury and Beyond

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The ABC's of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale

Italian Gourmet Food at Salumeria Italiana - Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale

The word 'Tradizionale' is a consortium-protected designation relating to various aging & organoleptic criteria. Modena and Reggio Emilia are two specific provinces within the region of Emilia-Romagna, each with its own consortium dedicated to the protection & enforcement of the D.O.P. status ('Denominazione di Origine Protetta'/protected designation of origin) accorded to Tradizionale balsamics. The Modena consortium divides their Tradizionale balsamics into TWO distinct age flights/packaging requirements, regardless of the brand: the 'at least 12 years old' type of Tradizionale, always sealed with an off-white colored foil cap; and then the 'more than 25 years old' type of Tradizionale, further called 'Extra Vecchio', which is always sealed with a gold foil cap. Modena Tradizionale balsamics always come in short, bulbous, onion-like 100 ml. glass bottles. The Reggio Emilia consortium, however, divides their 'Tradizionale' balsamics into THREE distinct age flights/packaging requirements (only two of which we're offering here now) regardless of the brand: the 'at least 12 years old' type of Tradizionale which always has a red seal or label affixed to the bottle; and then the 'more than 18 years old' type of Tradizionale, always with a silver seal or label; and finally there is the '25 years and older' type of Tradizionale, again designated 'Extra Vecchio', which always has a gold seal or label affixed to the bottle. Reggio Emilia Tradizionale balsamics come in 100 ml. glass bottles that are more slender and curvaceous than those from Modena (think 'upside-down tulip'; not onion.)


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