We dig deep into the pantry of the Chilebrown kitchen and find a special gift of some very fine vinegar. This vinegar has a prestigious title of ‘Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia’. This limited and unique vinegar is produced in the ‘Reggio Emilia' area in Northern Italy. This vinegar must pass rigorous quality standards set by a consortium. This vinegar has been aged at least 12 years and will receive a red seal. A gold seal signifies 25 years and a silver 18 years. Here is a brief explanation of what balsamic vinegar is:
“Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia is made from grape must that has been drawn off, filtered, cooked and then aged in special barrels made of oak, chestnut, juniper, mulberry or cherry wood. The barrels vary in size from large to very small. A portion of the vinegar is the largest barrel is transferred to the second largest one, and so on down the row. It takes years to make traditional balsamic vinegar and requires constant care, which results in a high price tag.”
This vinegar is thick and syrupy. It smells of raisins and a wood barrel. Tonight we drizzled some over some strawberries. This vinegar is sweet and sour at the same time. It does not have the acidic bite of newer vinegar Raisins with a slight vanilla flavor are my first impressions. Ripe and flavorful strawberries are a good vehicle to showcase the special qualities of this vinegar. This is one special vinegar. Thanks Ms. Goofy.