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Our Italy Trip


little ms foodie
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I love the shots of the pasta, the gondola ride and the parm with 100 year balsamic! (How does that taste?! It actually looks thinner than I thought it would.)

it is very thick but once it hits the parm it soaks in!! it was unbelivable! we brought back 30 year old stuff and serve it the same way :wub:

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I love the shots of the pasta, the gondola ride and the parm with 100 year balsamic! (How does that taste?! It actually looks thinner than I thought it would.)

it is very thick but once it hits the parm it soaks in!! it was unbelivable! we brought back 30 year old stuff and serve it the same way :wub:

Wendy, did you happen to note which Acetaia the 100yo balsamico was from? When my son and I were given some 100y/o balsamico to taste at Acetaia del Cristo, it was one of the highlights of our trip - truly wonderful stuff.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I love the shots of the pasta, the gondola ride and the parm with 100 year balsamic! (How does that taste?! It actually looks thinner than I thought it would.)

it is very thick but once it hits the parm it soaks in!! it was unbelivable! we brought back 30 year old stuff and serve it the same way :wub:

Wendy, did you happen to note which Acetaia the 100yo balsamico was from? When my son and I were given some 100y/o balsamico to taste at Acetaia del Cristo, it was one of the highlights of our trip - truly wonderful stuff.

Doesn't it strike people (perhaps not) that there is one heck of a lot of 100 year old balsamico around. How is that possible? Let's see... there had to be immense barrels of the initial batch because over 100 years the liquid would have to have evaporated substantially, if not totally. Then you have the question as to who would have had the foresight in 1906 to keep balsamico that long. In 1926, did all those people who were making balsamico say to themselves "aha, if we keep this for another 80 years, Americans will develope a taste for it, even though they don't know what balsamico is, and they will pay big bucks for even tiny drops of it? What happened to the 100 year old balsamico in its 36th. year, 1942, when the area was in German hands? Did it remain in the acetaie untouched?

If you talk to the most reputable and famous restaurant owners in a 50 km. radius of Modena, you will hear the laughter when you talk about 100 year old balsamico. If it existed (and no one can prove it one way or the other) they would have had a chance to buy it and would have done so. It's a bit like the 200 plus year old Bordeaux that President Jefferson purportedly had bottled (with his initials on the bottle). Or, to take a topic closer to our hearts... Alba truffles in early September. As the Swiss Chef said so well about truffles in general... the best place to get them is Moncalvo, because too much of what is sold in Alba comes from other places. I would add that many of those places don't happen to be in Italy.

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I love the shots of the pasta, the gondola ride and the parm with 100 year balsamic! (How does that taste?! It actually looks thinner than I thought it would.)

it is very thick but once it hits the parm it soaks in!! it was unbelivable! we brought back 30 year old stuff and serve it the same way :wub:

Wendy, did you happen to note which Acetaia the 100yo balsamico was from? When my son and I were given some 100y/o balsamico to taste at Acetaia del Cristo, it was one of the highlights of our trip - truly wonderful stuff.

Doesn't it strike people (perhaps not) that there is one heck of a lot of 100 year old balsamico around. How is that possible? Let's see... there had to be immense barrels of the initial batch because over 100 years the liquid would have to have evaporated substantially, if not totally. Then you have the question as to who would have had the foresight in 1906 to keep balsamico that long. In 1926, did all those people who were making balsamico say to themselves "aha, if we keep this for another 80 years, Americans will develope a taste for it, even though they don't know what balsamico is, and they will pay big bucks for even tiny drops of it? What happened to the 100 year old balsamico in its 36th. year, 1942, when the area was in German hands? Did it remain in the acetaie untouched?

If you talk to the most reputable and famous restaurant owners in a 50 km. radius of Modena, you will hear the laughter when you talk about 100 year old balsamico. If it existed (and no one can prove it one way or the other) they would have had a chance to buy it and would have done so. It's a bit like the 200 plus year old Bordeaux that President Jefferson purportedly had bottled (with his initials on the bottle). Or, to take a topic closer to our hearts... Alba truffles in early September. As the Swiss Chef said so well about truffles in general... the best place to get them is Moncalvo, because too much of what is sold in Alba comes from other places. I would add that many of those places don't happen to be in Italy.

Fortedei, given history your skepticism may certainly be warranted. I have no doubt that some purportedly 100yo balsamico is not what it is claimed to be. What I also have no doubt of is that the alleged 100yo balsamico that I tasted at Acetaia del Cristo was truly sublime. Maybe it was 80 years old or even 60. Given that I didn't even have the opportunity to buy any of it and we tasted it right out of the barrel, it doesn't really matter to me. I don't care if that was 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200 years old - it was incredible! I also didn't taste it in a vacuum. We had gone through all of their various balsamici. This one was particularly thick, unctuous and balanced - true nectar. I would gladly have bought some if there was some available.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Fortedei, given history your skepticism may certainly be warranted. I have no doubt that some purportedly 100yo balsamico is not what it is claimed to be. What I also have no doubt of is that the alleged 100yo balsamico that I tasted at Acetaia del Cristo was truly sublime. Maybe it was 80 years old or even 60. Given that I didn't even have the opportunity to buy any of it and we tasted it right out of the barrel, it doesn't really matter to me. I don't care if that was 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200 years old - it was incredible! I also didn't taste it in a vacuum. We had gone through all of their various balsamici. This one was particularly thick, unctuous and balanced - true nectar. I would gladly have bought some if there was some available.

There is definitely not such a thing like a 100 years old balsamico. It's a fake.

"ACETO BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE di Modena (ABTM)" is available in two qualities:

Older than 12 years, and older than 25 years

The 100 ml bottles containing the 12 years old balsamico owns a cream coloured cap and the 25 years old balsamico a golden cap. There is no sign about the age on the bottle, because it's strictly forbidden when it's the true ABT stuff. The lable "Extravecchio" point to an age of more than 25 years.

"ACETO BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE DI REGGIO EMILIA (ABT di RE)" is available in 3 Qualities:

Older than 12 years; older than 18 years and older than 25 years.

Like the ABTM rules there is no lable allowed showing the age of the balsamico. The shape of the ABT di RE 100 ml bottle is different from the ABTM 100 ml bottle.

All other stuff is industrial made or from a private producer who isn't allowed to name it "TRADITIONALE"

Edited by legourmet (log)

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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Fortedei, given history your skepticism may certainly be warranted. I have no doubt that some purportedly 100yo balsamico is not what it is claimed to be. What I also have no doubt of is that the alleged 100yo balsamico that I tasted at Acetaia del Cristo was truly sublime. Maybe it was 80 years old or even 60. Given that I didn't even have the opportunity to buy any of it and we tasted it right out of the barrel, it doesn't really matter to me. I don't care if that was 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200 years old - it was incredible! I also didn't taste it in a vacuum. We had gone through all of their various balsamici. This one was particularly thick, unctuous and balanced - true nectar. I would gladly have bought some if there was some available.

There is definitely not such a thing like a 100 years old balsamico. It's a fake.

"ACETO BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE di Modena (ABTM)" is available in two qualities:

Older than 12 years, and older than 25 years

The 100 ml bottles containing the 12 years old balsamico owns a cream coloured cap and the 25 years old balsamico a golden cap. There is no sign about the age on the bottle, because it's strictly forbidden when it's the true ABT stuff. The lable "Extravecchio" point to an age of more than 25 years.

"ACETO BALSAMICO TRADIZIONALE DI REGGIO EMILIA (ABT di RE)" is available in 3 Qualities:

Older than 12 years; older than 18 years and older than 25 years.

Like the ABTM rules there is no lable allowed showing the age of the balsamico. The shape of the ABT di RE 100 ml bottle is different from the ABTM 100 ml bottle.

All other stuff is industrial made or from a private producer who isn't allowed to name it "TRADITIONALE"

I didn't say anything about a bottle.

I would be happy to continue this discussion, but it will have to be in another thread so as not to hijack this lovely thread.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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without scientific knowledge but we rather thought 100 yr old balsamico was similar to many ports.... a certain amount has to be of that age, like a bread or vinager mother.

whatever it is this is my trip report, not a political discussion of aged balsamic. :blink:

and thank you divina for the info on the consorzium

Edited by little ms foodie (log)
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Harry's Bar- you gotta do it. but no belini's for us! 2 martini cocktails.....

IMG_1848.jpg

I will let TDOW comment on these!!

[sigh] Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, we walked into Harry's...

(apologies to Humphrey Bogart)

Harry's Bar. Home of the Bellini. And carpaccio. In Venice, which is icing on the cake. Romance, history, cocktails...

Oh wait, What I really mean is: pre-built martinis (which I think were straight gin) in tiny tumblers that were pre-poured and stored in a freezer drawer. No mixology, no flair, no vermouth (as far as I could tell), no garnish. Certainly no bitters.

Worst. Martini. Ever.

Even Hotel Button, where I couldn't convey even the basic concept, was better than this, because at least they were trying to get me what we wanted. Harry's -- fun as it was *despite* the "cocktails" and the price, simply because it was in Venice and I was there with my ever-so-lovely wife -- was really among the most-disappointing of the bars we've visited.

Oh well. It was still fun!

I believe what you drank was a Montgomery, which is Harry's standard version of a dry martini. It was supposedly named by Hemingway, who liked his martinis with a 15 to 1 ratio and claimed the British general would only fight if his troops outnumbered the adversary by 15 to 1. I think Harry's now makes them 10 to 1, premixed with no ice, poured into the glass and then put in the freezer on trays. The fact that the drink isn't shaken or stirred with ice makes it fundamentally different, and not as good in my opinion. The Bellinis are worth trying and I'm sure they would mix you a more conventional martini if you ask.

As an aside, at the Hemingway Bar in the Ritz Hotel in Paris, Colin Field has a somewhat similar drink he calls the Picasso Martini, which is gin pre-chilled to below zero temperature, poured into a cold glass, into which he drops a small iced cube of Noilly Pratt vermouth that has been slightly diluted with water just before serving. The idea is that you take the cube out when the desired ratio of gin to vermouth is reached as the cube melts.

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