This is a product that shouldn’t exist! Yet it does, and it is very good, but not much is produced. “Why should it not exist” you ask? Well, it is a Balsamic vinegar made as is the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale of both Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy. It is made ONLY with boiled down grape must, that is then aged in the small, traditional casks made by the master cooper of Modena, Francesco Renzi. The other element to the equation is time. It represents 12 years of slow fermentation to produce alcohol which is then oxidized by acetobacter to produce vinegar and time in these small casks to evaporate and condense producing a product very similar to Aceto Balsamic Tradizionale–the true Balsamic Vinegar.
The Bariani family, 1990 arrivals from Italy, started in the Sacramento region by producing extra virgin olive oil from the trees on their property close to Elk Grove, in south Sacramento. This production has grown so that now the Bariani own a several hundred acre orchard with their oil production plant in Zamora. In the oil plant, the “acetaia” or vinegar cellar is where they produce their 200 ml bottles of Aceto Balsamico. It is remarkable for its character and typicity of the Tradizionale model. While still young, it is delicious and can be used much like the imported style. Perhaps it is even better than the Italian Tradizionale, since it is more sharp and not quite so viscous, which allows it to dress salads or fresh produce or even cooked dishes where you want the sparkle of vinegar sharpness. Had Paul Bocuse known about the Bariani Balsamic when he concocted his famous Poulet au Vinaigre (chicken with vinegar sauté) he probably would have used it instead of Sherry vinegar. Complimenti alla famiglia Bariani!
BARIANI CALIFORNIA BALSAMIC VINEGAR 12 YEARS, 6% acidity