Balsamic IGP, an Industrial Product

In La Voce di New York, Alessandra Ferretti writes about a very important issue, Aceto Balsamico. She discusses Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale DOP and how it is a true treasure of the Italian gastronomy, culture, and tradition.

She also talks about Aceto Balsamico of Modena IGP (Indicazione Geografica Protetta), which is on every shelf of every supermarket in the United States. It is important that we all know and understand that there is a HUGE difference between these two products. The Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale DOP is the real thing; the Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP is an industrial and cheap product. It is produced in large quantities, 90 million (MILLION) liters of liquid every year, and the majority of the production is in the hands of a very few industrial companies. 90 million liters of IGP. Do you know how much Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale DOP (the REAL thing) is produced every year? Only 10 thousand liters, by a few heroic families.

According to the IGP protocol, the IGP can contain additives like caramel color and the grapes can come from wherever. The only requirement is that the liquid ages for 2 months in or around Modena. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale DOP, instead, must be made following severe rules and procedures, with cooked must of local grapes that ages in wooden barrels for at least 12 years in the provinces of Modena or Reggio Emilia.

Prices! They follow the same logic. IGP is a cheap product. You can buy it in plastic containers of 5 liters online for 20-something dollars.

Not on