San Giacomo Essenza - 100ml
Essenza is made from the same cooked must (Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes) used for producing traditional balsamic vinegar. The difference is in the aging, Essenza is aged between 8 and 10 years rather than the 12 years specified as the minimum for the traditional balsamic. The result is a brighter balsamic with more sugar and a less developed woodsy flavors. The additional years of aging that the Condimento Essenza goes through creates more developed flavors than what you will find in the normal Condimento (5-7 years).
Excellent for drizzling over grilled meats or finishing pasta or risotto dishes. For more information on balsamic vinegars, please visit our balsamic education page.
|Country of Origin||Italy|
|Producer||Acetaia San Giacomo|
|Vinegar Type||Balsamic Vinegar|
Acetaia San Giacomo
We discovered this wonderful producer of balsamico at the Salone del Gusto in Turin Italy. Andrea Bezzecchi produces his vinegars in Reggio Emilia which is just Northwest of the more well known town of Modena. Andrea set a new standard for balsamic vinegar by using exclusively cooked grape must as the base of each vinegar. By comparison, Aceto Balsamico di Modena allows use of up to 40% wine vinegar which is a substantially less expensive ingredient.
While this is the standard for the highest level Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia, it is not typically found in younger vinegars.
The result is a range of vinegars with a balance of fresh fruit character and deeply aged vinegar flavors.
Andrea chooses the best Italian grapes from his region and gives each batch undivided attention as the must is cooked, fermented, acetified and aged.
Vinegar Use and Care
Caring for Your Vinegar
What is vinegar?
Vinegar from the French Vin (wine) Aigre (sour), as with many delicious food products comes to us by way of gradual chemical changes resulting from exposure to natural elements such as time, bacteria and oxygen. Yet you'd be mistaken to consider the process of making fine vinegar as simply letting some wine sit out on your counter for a month or two.
Does vinegar go bad?
Caring for your vinegar is pretty simple but there are a few things worth noting. As with many products, the texture, flavor and aromatics of vinegar will change with extensive exposure to heat and light. While it will not technically "go bad" we find that well-stored vinegars maintain the flavors we expect much better than those that might be kept near a hot stove for several months.
Is vinegar sediment ok?
Some vinegars will have a bit of sediment at the bottom of their bottle. This will be the case for unfiltered vinegars and also can happen with vinegars that have been in storage for a long period. This sediment is not harmful and the vinegar will still be good to the last drop.
How is vinegar made?
The most ancient method of vinegar production is today called the continuous method, the surface method, or the more well-known, Orléans process - named after the French city of Orléans which was the center of French vinegar production in the 16th century.
This process is difficult to manage and maintain consistency and it takes a lot of time from raw materials to finished product. We work with a vibrant community of artisan producers committed to producing exceptional vinegars using this more time consuming and labor intensive method.
Most vinegar you'll find in supermarkets is produced using the modern innovation of 'submerged acidification' using industrial acetators to produce vinegar in a matter of hours. These vinegars are functional and inexpensive, but they lack any aromatic complexity and offer limited gastronomic value as compared to the more traditional vinegars.
How do I use vinegar?
Using your vinegar is easy... you likely have your favorite recipes, but here are a few ideas we love:
- A splash of vinegar in sparkling water for a refreshingly vibrant spritz
- A drizzle of balsamic over sliced fresh figs, a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano or a bowl of vanilla ice cream
- Quick pickling of vegetables by cooking a solution of vinegar, water, sugar and spices - cool and pour over the cut vegetables and set in fridge for a day
- Add a dash to finish your pasta sauce (balsamic) or your gazpacho (sherry vinegar) for an added dimension of brightness