Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Balsamic Vinegar and other Italian topics.
When buying the true balsamic vinegar, you should be able to tell if it is real by the shape of the bottle and, on the label look for the key word "tradizionale", as in "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena" and "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio in Emilia." With Modena's vinegars, "Vecchio" indicates a 12-year-old vinegar; "Extra Vecchio" a 25-year-old. In Reggio, tradizionale is in three levels of quality: red label, silver and gold. Remember, with out the word "tradizionale" on the bottle, the vinegar is not true artisan-made balsamic no matter what a label may claim about age and quality. Some producers to look for are Malpighi, Carandini, Cavalli, Pedroni, and Biancardi to name a few.