PROTECTING AND ENRICHING TRADITION
All the goodness of this P.D.O. label product is guaranteed by the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia. Based on the results of the tasting, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is classified into three categories: Oro, Argento and Aragosta.
Oro, Argento and Aragosta, corresponding to the colours of the stickers (gold, silver and burnt orange) applied to the typical little bottles of
Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia, which identify the different product types obtained with different periods of aging, always longer than 12 years. This was a choice made by the Consortium of Producers of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia, upon its foundation in 1986, in order to guarantee transparency for consumers. In 2000, the European Community, when Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia joined the prestigious list of products with a Protected Denomination of Origin label, drafted a regulation that establishes the following:
• all producers must be certified by an independent Certification Body recognised by the CE and authorised by the Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies. This Entity is entrusted with carrying out checks at each stage of the production chain, and issues the certification only once it has verified that the regulations governing production have been strictly complied with;
• all products must have the density and acidity values indicated in the production regulations, verified by means of specific analyses conducted in ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories; the pertinent certificates are then sent to the Certification Body to check they are fully compliant;
• after the samples have been anonymised by the Certification Body responsible, fitness for sale and the quality characteristics of the products to be bottled are established during the organoleptic testing session conducted by a board of five master tasters, who use a specific form to express their judgement by awarding each sample a score based on the sensations transmitted by the product;
• products judged fit for sale must be bottled in the province of Reggio Emilia using exclusively bottles of the shape and capacity provided for in the production regulations;
• all the bottling activities must be carried out in the presence of the Certification Body, which must check how the bottles are filled and how they are stopped and sealed with wax. Once these operations have been completed, the Certification Body supplies the producer with the stickers, each of which has a progressive number for product traceability, in the colour corresponding to the quality of the product bottled.
THE THREE CATEGORIES
The most “vinegary” of the three Traditional Balsamic Vinegars.
The delicate fragrance and the pleasantly intense acidity make this vinegar the ideal choice for carpaccio, dips for raw vegetables and marinades. It can be used warm, to add extra flavour to meat and fish at the end of the cooking process, or for sauces and dips.
Vinegars with the Aragosta sticker are popular for the pleasingly distinct sensation of volatile acidity. Its subtle, delicate fragrance and good acidity make it ideal for drizzling over meat and fish carpaccio, raw vegetables for dips and in marinades.
It can be added to the pan to give extra flavour at the end of the cooking process to shellfish, lamb rib chops, chicken breasts and rare red meats.
Top chefs used it to prepare pan juices for game, poultry and fish (especially cod).
Warmed and blended along with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano, it makes a delicious condiment for ravioli.
Products awarded the silver-coloured Argento sticker have generally been aged for 6/7 years longer than those with the Aragosta burnt orange coloured sticker; they are thus more concentrated, which attenuates the perception of acidity, offering a pleasant, complex sensation on the palate. These balsamic vinegars are ideal as a condiment, as well as for almost all first and second course dishes.
The rich, intense aroma, which tends pleasingly towards a sweet fragrance, is delicious in mayonnaise and sauces, or as an accompaniment to boiled meats or fish dishes, as well as pasta and rice salads and foie gras. Also ideal with piquant and mature cheeses, especially Parmigiano Reggiano.
Served hot, it is especially tasty with fillet of beef, and is excellent for bringing a creamy texture to risotto dishes, especially with vegetables or scampi.
A treasure chest of flavour to be savoured drop after drop, used exclusively as a dressing.
The particularly persistent flavour makes it a delicious end to a meal, enjoyed on its own, although its extraordinarily rich organoleptic properties also make for surprising, memorable pairings with cheeses and desserts.
After spending at least 25 years in barrels rich in history and aromas, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia is ready to delight even the most demanding palate.
Gourmet savoury lovers will enjoy it drizzled over the most noble, flavourful and piquant cheeses, while for those with a sweet tooth, a delightful taste experience is guaranteed in the company of confectioner’s cream, chocolate desserts, ice cream and forest berries. It is also a superb ingredient for fillings for panettone and strudel.
The finest way to savour this delicacy in all its noble, splendidly intense complexity of aromas and flavour is to enjoy a small glass at the end of a meal as a meditation liqueur.