In order to preserve the history and guarantee the quality of the product, three Balsamic Vinegar consortia have been created, each of which aims to preserve the tradition and integrity linked to this product.
This condiment owes its fame and importance worldwide especially to the existence and legislation of the Balsamic Vinegar consortia. They guarantee the protection of one of the most loved and exported products of the fantastic Emilian cuisine.
Its history is very long, complex and fascinating, as well as rich in anecdotes that have made it possible for us to receive the Balsamic Vinegar that we know today, a precious product with an absolutely characteristic taste.
In order to protect tradition, three consortia have been created, each of which deals with a specific type of Balsamic Vinegar and whose task is to certify the quality of the Vinegar, keep the specifications and promote the product on an international scale.
These consortiums, in essence, are essential to protect the methods of production of Balsamic Vinegar, Traditional DOP or IGP, thus ensuring that our tables always have products of absolute quality.
So let’s see together these three consortia.
Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP
Let’s start from the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP, the place that has seen, according to many historical reconstructions, the first emergence of Balsamic Vinegar.
This Consortium is therefore committed to protecting this history, promoting a product that could have been born only in this area.
In fact, the only raw material used in the processing of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP is grape must, with grapes coming exclusively from the Modena vineyards, mostly Trebbiano and Lambruschi, Spergola and Berzemino. The addition of other substances is obviously forbidden.
Following this, there are several obligatory steps left for the skilled hands of the Modenese as well as to the wooden barrels.What is also very important is also the aging: this must last at least twelve years and even twenty-five to obtain the title of extra-old.
The bottles, with their characteristic spherical shape with a rectangular base and solid glass, are rigorously numbered.
All the rules for the production of this vinegar are set out in the regulations of the The Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP. Download it from here.
Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia DOP
We now move on to the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia DOP, which guarantees the quality and preservation of the tradition of another type of Balsamic Vinegar, namely the one coming from the vineyards of Reggio Emilia.
The rules dictated by this consortium are very similar to those previously seen, with the substantial difference that we move from Modena to Reggio Emilia.
In addition to the vineyards, also the bottling must take place exclusively in this province and inside bottles chosen by the Consortium and with the shape desired by tradition. This is a fundamental step to guarantee maximum quality right down to the last link in the production chain.
Being DOP, also this Balsamic Vinegar requires only the grape must as raw material and at least twelve years of aging.
For further information, the advice is to consult the specifications of the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia DOP.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP Consortium
We now come to talk about the last consortium, the one that deals with the protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP.
Let’s start immediately with saying that this product comes from a very long peasant tradition and is still today the most widespread Balsamic Vinegar on the tables of Italians and citizens all over the world. However, the recipe contained in the specification is less rigid and even allows the addition of other ingredients in addition to grape must. For this reason, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is less valuable than those of part of the Protected Designation of Origin, while still remaining a product of the highest quality and with a very long history.
Also in this case, in order to deepen the subject, we recommend reading the IGP specification.
The consortia that we have seen in this article are essential to protect not only the tradition and the Balsamic Vinegar itself, but also the customers. The main mission of the consortia, in fact, is to certify and therefore to distinguish real balsamic vinegars from imitations, making sure that the highest quality products are always brought to the tables.
Of course, for an ordinary person it is not easy to recognize a real Balsamic Vinegar, but thanks to the help of the consortia we are sure to always buy products linked to tradition and of the highest level when we choose to buy Balsamic Vinegar DOP or IGP.