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100% pure saba, sweet with a fruity flavor and just a hint of acidity. Saba is grape must that has been cooked down to a syrup; it’s a simple condiment with a long history. One taste and you’ll know why saba has been prized as a natural sweetener for generations, as far back as ancient Rome. Saba is a substitute for sugar. It is lighter and cleaner on the palate than sugar, making the flavors of food really pop. Many recipes call for saba and it is an ingredient increasingly being used by chefs in Italy and the USA. You can drizzle it on yogurt or ice cream, ricotta, pancakes, crepes, or sliced fruit, or use it as a syrup in cocktails. Saba is just as versatile for savory dishes: use it to finish meat like chicken or pork chops; to caramelize vegetables like onion or radicchio; as a unique dressing for salad; or paired with your favorite cheeses.

To make La Ca’ dal Non Saba, producer Mariangela Montanari selects grapes with a high sugar content and harvests them at the peak of ripeness. She cooks them the same way her ancestors have for generations, over an open flame for 48 hours; according to Montanari, this accounts for her saba’s richly aromatic, complex, fruity flavor - a far cry from the simply sweet and thick commercial sabas cooked under vacuum or using a bain-marie.

The name of the company - La Ca’ dal Non - means “Grandpa’s House” in the local Modenese dialect. Montanari has helped to restore her family’s acetaia (vinegar cellar), which was started by her great-grandfather Alfonso in the early 1900s. In addition to saba and traditional balsamic vinegar, Montanari also produces Balsamo, her “everyday” condiment that combines saba and grape must that has been aged for 2-3 years.