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Balsamic Vinegar Adventures

Balsamic Vinegar Adventures

Wednesday 18th November

Everyday is a school day, they say, and that is certainly true of our time in Italy.

The best balsamic vinegar comes from a family ‘Acetaia’, of which there are only a handful. One of these, called ‘Villa San Donnino’, we visited during our time in Modena. The factory itself is little bigger than Louis, but my word do they know how to make vinegar! A small bottle of the good stuff set us back nearly 80€.

When you hear the process it takes to make this tiny bottle, you can see why; twenty years in the making puts it on par with a fine wine. The family have been making balsamic vinegar of the highest quality since 1887 and three generations of producers have been perfecting it ever since.

Traditional balsamic is made from cooked, ripened grapes aged in wooden casks with nothing added. The period of fermentation is what creates the distinct flavours; from 12 years to 25 years, they are worth the wait and best enjoyed with fresh bread and extra virgin olive oil.

Watching the process and the time and care that goes into producing the tiniest bottle has certainly changed my opinion of the humble black trickle I enjoy on my tomato and mozzarella salad. The biggest surprise was seeing the Balsamic being made into jelly, served with ice cream!

If you’re a big fan of balsamic we have plenty of delicious vinegars in stock in Louis, perfect for livening up salads and breads.

We have a range of cakes made with gluten free ingredients and a daily vegetarian lunch choice.