A food lover learning balsamic’s tasty lineage. I visited one of the many countryside balsamic vinegar producers while in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Modena, Italy.

In Sorbara, I tasted lively and 10- to 50-year-old aged balsamic varietals while balsamic producer Guido Paltrinieri and his family of Acetaia Paltrinieri Balsamico exuberantly explained the traditional production.  The detailed process uses special casks made of chestnut, oak, juniper, cherry and mulberry woods. The important “mother” of each variety stands near the smaller casks. Ceremoniously, balsamics are taken from the mother and placed in the smaller casks to keep the vinegars aging to perfection.

No bitter vinegars

The varietals have no “vinegar” bite because they are made from grape musts with no artificial flavors or added caramel colors. A small drizzle from these aged elixirs on cheeses, fruits and vegetables are as sweet and natural as honeycomb.

Modena, Italy is a town to visit and experience true balsamic vinegars, making the perfect pairing for foodies and travelers alike.

This article was revised from the original article.

A warm welcome awaits at Acetaia Paltrinieri, acetaiapaltrinieri.it.

San Diego ReaderPublished January 2010: sandiegoreader.com
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