It’s the sour grapes story of the century. Italy versus Slovenia in a battle over balsamic vinegar. The Italians are not happy with the Slovenians and they’re taking them to court over balsamic vinegar production. The face-off is taking place after Slovenia announced a policy to name any wine vinegar manufactured from fruit *concentrate as balsamic vinegar.
A concentrate is a form of substance which has had the majority of its base component removed. Typically, this will be the removal of water from a solution or suspension, such as the removal of water from fruit juice. So why the controversy?
Unfortunately for everyone outside of the famed food country, the name ‘aceto balsamico di Modena’ is uniquely assigned to products made in the Modena and the Emilia-Romagna regions of Italy. Now, Italians are seeking to block Slovenia’s categorisation, which they claim threatens tradition, along with a lucrative €1 billion market, which is alleged to have increased 60 percent in 2021.
The protected denomination of origin (PDO) for balsamic vinegar has been in place since 2009, and applies to balsamic vinegar aged in the Modena fashion for 12 years. Extra-aged balsamic products can be aged for 25-years, with some sought-after condiments being aged for up to 200 years.