Balsamic Vinegar is a vinegar originating from Emilia Romagna, here in Italy, protected by both the DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, protected designation of origin) label. True balsamic vinegar is made from a traditional recipe, from cooked grape must, aged at least 12 years. Authentic traditional artisan balsamic vinegar can be produced only in Modena and neighboring Reggio Emilia. True balsamic vinegar is made from Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. To make it, grape must needs alcoholic fermentation, then acetic bioxidation, and finally aging. Casks for aging may be of different wood types, i.e. mulberry, oak, cherry, chestnut, juniper, ash), giving its characteristic aroma. On the market, you can also find some commercial grade balsamic vinegars, produced on an industrial scale, an inexpensive imitation.
In cooking, it is great combined with parmigiano cheese chips, vegetables (raw or cooked), strawberries, ice creams, and even meat and fish. It is also perfect for low-fat diets, as a substitute for oil.