balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar () is a vinegar originating from Italy, increasingly popular throughout the world. The original, costly, traditional balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale), is made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbiano grape juice, and used as a condiment. It has been produced in Modena and Reggio Emilia since the Middle Ages, being mentioned in a document dated 1046. Appreciated in the House of Este during the Renaissance, it is highly valued by modern chefs and gourmet food lovers. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena), an inexpensive imitation, is today widely available and much better known. It bears a Protected Geographical Status label, and is the kind commonly found on restaurant tables and used in salad dressing. The names “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena” (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena) and “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia” (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia) are protected by both the Italian Denominazione di origine protetta and the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin. Balsamic vinegar contains no balsam. The word balsamico (from Latin balsamum, from Greek βάλσαμον) means “balsam-like” in the sense of “restorative” or “curative”.