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History And Tradition

Vinegar History – Fit For an Emperor
   
We will never know the origins of vinegar. They are too far back, thousands of years. We
do know that in the fifth century B.C.E., the great Greek physician Hippocrates believed
that vinegar had medicinal properties. Ancient Romans wrote about mosto too. They called
it mustum, meaning “new.” Cato included a recipe for cheese cakes sweetened with
mosto in On Agriculture, approximately 175 B.C.E. Virgil wrote a poem about cooking
grape mosto. And it appears in the recipes of Apicius, who wrote the first full cookbook, in
the first century of the Roman Empire.
   
The first written reference to what might be Balsamic Vinegar dates from the Middle Ages,
in 1046. It is a historical report written by a monk. It tells about a small cask of vinegar
that was presented as a gift to King Henry III, who later became emperor of the Holy
Roman Empire. By the end of the sixteenth century, in 1598, the Duke d’Este moved to
Modena, where his name and the name of his new city became synonymous with Balsamic
Vinegar.

Balsamic Vinegar – The Finishing Touch

In families that produce Balsamic Vinegar, a cask of the elixir is the birthright of every
child. The new cask is started when the baby is born. By the time the cask is given to a girl
for her wedding dowry or to celebrate a boy’s passage into manhood, the Balsamic
Vinegar has mellowed and aged and is very valuable. Thanks to the work of the
consortiums, this extraordinary Balsamic Vinegar, previously reserved only for the family
that made it, from generation to generation, going back centuries, is available to share at
our tables as part of an authentic Italian meal.
   
So, whether you serve it at the beginning of the meal as an aperitivo, during the meal as
a battesimo on the food, or at the end as a digestivo, Balsamic Vinegar is the perfect
finishing touch.