1. It’s not what’s in your local grocery store. Aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena is an Italian specialty that’s aged in wooden casks from 12 to more than 100 years.
2. Authentic balsamic vinegar of Modena is treated and labeled in the same way as fine wines, with quality control measures and labeling overseen by an official consortium.
3. Look for the consortium logo and the words aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena on the bottle. It’s the word tradizionale that’s missing from the mass-produced bottles in the grocery store. A small distinction, but a big difference!
4. It’s a family tradition. Since it may take decades to get from the vine to the bottle, your grandchildren may be the first to taste a batch of vinegar that you started.
5. It’s divine drizzled over Parmigiano-Reggiano, meats, vegetables, strawberries–even ice cream.