The Ministry of Culture supports Balsamic’s candidature for Unesco status

A very important piece of news for the world of balsamic vinegar production: the Ministry of Culture, in fact, has decided to support, with the support of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the candidature of the “Balsamic Tradition between sociability, savoir-faire and popular culture of Modena and Reggio Emilia” as a UNESCO Immaterial Heritage of Humanity. This concept was reiterated by Francesco Gilioli, Head of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Culture.

The reason is simple: in fact, in the Aceto Balsamic Vinegar of Modena there is a tradition and a history that deserve to be celebrated and preserved. UNESCO, the United Nations agency that promotes culture, education and information, is intent on pursuing the candidacy that has already been launched in 2019, in which the important intangible aspect that characterises this type of recognition is present, since it is something pervasive and localized on the territory.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena as Unesco Heritage

This candidacy to recognise Balsamic Vinegar of Modena as a intangible heritage of Unesco had already been submitted as early as 2019, and as of today this project is under consideration by the Ministry of Culture. Once the approval of the Italian Cuisine Cucina as a Unesco Heritage Site has been finalised, this request will also be reactivated, with the hope that within a few years this path will also manage to obtain a recognition of this value, which would mean seeing the tradition of a territory recognised, but above all that of so many families and so many entrepreneurs from Modena and from Reggio Emilia who have contributed significantly to the development of this extraordinary product.

This news was conveyed in Milan on 25 March by Stefano Bruno Galli, advisor for relations with local and regional authorities on the promotion of cultural heritage to Gennaro Sangiuliano Minister of Culture, on the occasion of the inaugural conference of the first edition of ‘Balsamic day‘, a day set up nationwide and totally dedicated to Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. 25 March, in fact, is the anniversary of the official recognition by the Ministry of Agriculture of the impact of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena industry on Italian gastronomy and culture in 1993.

A world-famous Modena tradition

The choice to nominate this tasty product celebrated throughout the world was born out of the territory and local communities, which gave rise to a process that involved numerous families and businesses located in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia that are representative of the tradition, history and identity of Aceto Balsamic Vinegar in the area.

Indeed, we often talk about the importance of authenticity and the protection of Balsamic Vinegar, a fundamental issue for one of the most exported products in the world with 92% of production reaching as many as 130 countries, but which is also among the most imitated. At this juncture, therefore, the support of the institutions is necessary, a gesture that reaffirms the importance of production within our country, demonstrating a great attention and sensitivity towards the work of the businesses and the opportunities that they have been able to seize by developing strategies for positioning themselves in foreign markets, even in the long term.

Balsamic Vinegar Production

The tradition associated with this product is very long and rich in history, and is part of the DNA of the territory Modenese. Its origins go back a long way and to exotic places, and its consumption dates back as far as 4000 B.C. with the Babylonians, who obtained it from the fermentation of dates, figs and apricots and used it as a dressing or to preserve other foods. However, the roots of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar lie in the custom of cooking the must: There is evidence of this practice in Egypt but it was among the Romans that the production of cooked must became a commonly practised activity, also mentioned by Virgil in the Georgics.

Subsequently, at the courts of the Este, first in Ferrara and later in Modena, products were used that can be considered the precursors of Aceto Balsamic Vinegar of Modena which, as we know today, has quite different characteristics from the Balsamic of tradition. In fact, when the Este family moved to Modena in 1598, they discovered a vinegar that was unknown to most, produced at family level and in restricted environments and with different characteristics.

It was first mentioned in 1747 in the registers of the secret cellars of the Estense Court as ‘balsamic vinegar’, previously known as ‘the Duke’s vinegar’, underlining its very precious essence. From the XVIII century onwards, news of the Balsamic increased, even though the families that owned it remained secretive about the product. But it is in the 18th century that we find fundamental evidence of the use of cooked must alone to produce what today is the Balsamic of tradition.

What to do in Modena: a visit to the Acetaia

This interesting aspect of the tradition is told during the guided toursAcetaia Marchi that we organise for all enthusiasts. These moments are invaluable occasions in which it is possible to immerse oneself totally within this extraordinary world governed by flavours. Thanks to the master vinegar-makers, you will be taken inside the production of Balsamic Vinegar, discovering all the secrets linked to its creation and visiting the places where it is conserved.

Starting with a walk inside the vineyards, we then move on to the vinegar cellar, where the product is stored in bottles made of different types of wood, which give the vinegar its characteristic taste and appreciated throughout the world. The visits, which are available in different languages to enable all visitors to discover all the curiosities of the product, also include a tasting of the different types of vinegar we produce: In this way, it will be possible to experience at first hand the high quality of the ingredients used and the extraordinary end result.


The Bottega for your shopping!

At the end of this extraordinary journey, you can visit our Bottega, a special place where you can take a small piece of this territory back home with you. Here, you will be supported in choosing the product that best suits your palate thanks to direct contact with the salespeople, who will be happy to advise you and answer all your questions. This contact creates a precious experience, which makes the whole visit an involving moment for our visitors and customers.

Should you wish to purchase a product in a second moment, fear not: we also have a e-commerce where you can find all the varieties of aceto produced by our Acetaia, which will be shipped directly to your home so that you can enjoy this product wherever you are.

Don’t miss out on an extraordinary experience

If you are in the area and wondering what to do in Modena, don’t miss out on an extraordinary taste experience that can enrich you on a cultural and gastronomic level: visit Acetaia Marchi and try our products, to fully understand the high quality that we offer. Come and visit us as soon as possible!