How to Avoid the Popular Organic Balsamic Vinegar Scam?

Published on January 8 2021

Guerzoni Vineyard

Organic balsamic vinegar is very popular among food lovers. This vinegar enhances the flavour of your dishes and can provide important health benefits. It is low in calories, fat-free, helps you feel full and it may help in lowering your bad cholesterol level and high blood pressure.

However, a lot of people who want to include this amazing staple of Italian cookery into their diet are not aware that there are many Balsamic Vinegars out there and as it often happens, labels are not very clear.

First of all, as usual, choose Organic Balsamic Vinegar. It remarkably lowers the possibility of contamination from pesticides with obvious benefits for the environment, the farmers’ and the consumers’ health.

How Many Types of Balsamic Vinegars?

First of all, the real Balsamic Vinegar can only be produced in the areas of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in the north of Italy. This is why the correct name is Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI. PGI stands for Protected Geographical Indication. In this case, it is not compulsory to use local grapes unless it is a Biodynamic product.

According to the regulation, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI has to contain at least 20% of concentrated or cooked grape must (must is freshly crushed grape juice), 10% of wine vinegar and a percentage of aged wine vinegar. It can contain up to 2% of caramel to enhance the colour.

Now, as you can infer from the numbers, ratio of cooked grape must and wine vinegar can vary widely. If there is a predominance of wine vinegar, you will obtain the liquid, tangy, aromatic Balsamic Vinegar. If there is instead a predominance of cooked grape must you will have the typical rich, dense and complex Balsamic Vinegar. The density usually goes from 1.16 up to 1.35 but it is not mandatory to put it in the label so people get confused and sometimes buy the low density, which is obviously cheaper, thinking they’ve just made a massive bargain, to end up quite disappointed. The only solution is looking for further information on the website or the shop you are buying or trust your senses and turn the bottle upside down and see how dense the product is.

Then you have the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Reggio Emilia PDO (Protected Denomination of Origin), the very dense, incredibly aromatic and super expensive vinegar. But this is another product and we’ll tell you the story in another article.

Biodynamic & organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI is produced following the strictest regulations as neither the use of concentrated must nor caramel is allowed. The only two ingredients will be grape must, cooked for 2 or 3 days on direct flame according to the traditional method, and wine vinegar. Like every biodynamic product, all the ingredients have to be produced internally and cannot be outsourced with obvious positive repercussions on traceability and control of the whole production chain.

Grab Your Biodynamic & Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI!

At Olivocracy, we store the only biodynamic and organic Balsamic Vinegars of Modena PGI and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO. We are available for any query or information on the phone, via email or on social media.

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