THE REAL ``BLACK GOLD``
The origins of balsamic vinegar date back to ancient times: the Romans already used cooked grape must (sapum) as a medicine, sweetener and condiment.
The birth of this black gold was probably accidental, but in a short time its characteristics made it such a noble product that in 1046 the future emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King Henry III, asked the Marquis Bonifacio di Canossa – father of Matilde, one of the most important figures of the Italian Middle Ages – that “very perfect vinegar” that was made in his fortress.
Over the years, its traces cross the territory and are concentrated in Modena where, at the end of the sixteenth century, the Estense Court moved, which has already started its production for some time. We are in the middle of the Renaissance, but we will have to wait another two centuries (1747) to see the term “balsamic” appear for the first time.
In the second half of the 19th century, the provinces of Emilia became part of the newborn Kingdom of Italy and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is the protagonist of the most important national and international exhibitions. Alongside the aristocratic tradition, the habit of diluting the product with wine vinegar to obtain a lighter dressing, which can be used every day, spreads among peasant families, thus creating what would later be called Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI.
During the visit of the new sovereign Vittorio Emanuele, the prime minister of the kingdom Camillo Benso count of Cavour orders to have the best barrels transferred to Piedmont, in the royal castle of Moncalieri, where, far from the climate of his lands, Balsamic begins to die out due to exhaustion and mold developed due to the inadequacy of the climate. Probably to try to save it, the oenologist Ottavio Ottavi asks for information from Francesco Agazzotti, a local connoisseur and producer, who replies with a detailed letter that will become the methodological basis for the production of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
The second half of the twentieth century opens a new chapter for balsamic vinegar which in 1983 obtained the designation of origin “Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena”, a recognition that consolidated in 2000 with the conquest of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
In the early 2000s, further protection of the product was made official: in 2009 the European Union accepted the registration application submitted fifteen years earlier by a newborn Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Consortium. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is now recognized as PGI.
This is the story of one of the most famous products of our peninsula, envied us all over the world, which has become a distinctive sign and symbol of Italianness over the centuries … Spagni & Spagni balsamic vinegar was born from the strong desire to highlight the aspect of tradition within the varied food sector: a first-rate product, which owes its high quality to impeccable production and consequent conservation in wooden barrels, which from 8 to 25 years for the most valuable versions!
With an unparalleled flavor, intense and pungent aroma, balsamic vinegar is one of the best allies in the kitchen, capable of giving that unique touch to each creation.