Modena is a pretty town in the north of Italy, it is well known for its tasty and decadent cuisine but also known to be the home of the most famous car manufacturer of all: Ferrari. The small and concentrated city centre needs to be discovered slowly and savoured with gourmand interested. Modena hiddens gem is a culinary condiment that is sometimes called the black gold of modena but also known as Traditional balsamic vinegar.
The Aceto tradizionale di Modena is a PDO product that it is only made in this town. Interestingly the real product has little to do with most people are accustomed to. The modense tradition wants that a set of new barrels is started when a baby girl is born. The humbles cooked grape juice is transformed into this precious liquid over a period of 12 years or even up to 25 years for the older vintages. The liquid will be resting in wooden barrels made from different essences such as juniper, cherry, blueberry, ash and chestnut.
The climate of the area and the location of the barrels will play other fundamentals factors. The set of barrels has to be in the unheated loft of the house where the vinegar is exposed to the temperature variations. The seasons here are very well demarcated, hot summer and cold winters will leave a signature in the product that acquires flavours from woods of the barrels.
The producers have to have their product approved by the consortium before bottling in the designer bottle that is also the only one allowed. For the approval they will need to submit their balsamic vinegar to the grand master who is infact a vinegar sommelier who will score their effort.
Traditional balsamic vinegar is an ancestral product used in the past as a balm or a medicine for improving digestion and health in general. Today it has been rediscovered by famous chefs who did not fail to introduce it to their gourmet clientele.
Another attraction of Modena is its Duomo. The cathedral has been built in 1099 on the burial site of Saint Geminianus, who is also the protector and saint patron of the city. The building is an exquisite example of romanesque architecture. In 1997 the site has been inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage because of its magnificent beauty and unique style. One of the remarkable feature of the Duomo is also its tower called Ghirlandina because of the garlands decorations that appear on the building. The tower of Ghirlandina has been adopted by the Modenese as a symbol of the city.
Modena has plenty to offer for those wanting to explore the Emilia Romagna food traditions, architecture and fast cars. For more information about balsamic vinegar and Modena you can check EmiliaDelizia.com.