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Friday, October 05, 2007

Gusto Balsamico


Gusto Balsamic runs for 4 days, starting today and finishes Monday the 8th.


It was held in two pavilions of the Modena Fiera - Pavilion A contained the tasting areas which were grouped as Balsamic Vinegars of Modena, Traditional Balsamic Vinegars of Modena and Vinegars of the World and Pickled Products.


And yes, there is quite a difference in having the word traditional in the name as I discovered during the taste workshop.



It really was that quiet - most of the people here were vendors or press!


I really like this poster as it explains the process.





I did taste a few of these traditional balsamic vinegars and must make note of one in particular. It was a 50 year old that was so thick you could have timed how long it took to finally ooze out onto my spoon. At €560 for a 100ml bottle this is probably the most expensive thing I've ever drunk. Is that too much? Hmm, I say not when you consider just the time that is involved in producing this amazing Balsamic Vinegar. These types of vinegars are not for food they are meant to be sipped with a spoon and savoured.

The trouble comes in that what people think is the taste of Balsamic Vinegar really isn't what you find in these types of bottles. Chateau Fizz doesn't taste anything like a Krug and you shouldn't even be putting them in the same class. What we drizzle over our salads and call balsamic vinegar, is a different beast.

There was also an enoteca area - where you could buy regional foods and buy wines to taste



It included an outside eating and cooking area


Yes, that is a wood fired oven and they will be baking breads.

Just some of the food on offer



I couldn't say no to Zuppa Inglese


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Prosciutto di modena

There was also a display of old coffee machines nearby





and what I especially loved, it included the coffee machine sent out for Melbourne's 1956 Olympic Games!


How lovely!

Pavilion B was a bit different - no vinegar tastings here, this was more to do with physically making the product - they had stands such as barrel makers and bottle manufacturers.



Another section was called the Luogo dei Lambruschi




A host of Lambrusco on offer - I decided not to partake as I didn't really feel comfortable as I'm not in a position to buy anything.

There is also a restaurant set up called the Osteria del Tortellino


Here you could watch the pasta makers working from scratch making the 5 different pasta types that were on offer



or watch the kitchen preparing the meals from this window

table setting

I did take a note of the dishes on offer

Tortellino tradizionale di Castelfranco Emilia prodotto a manno con sfoglia tirate al mattarello cotto e servito in brodo di cappone (Hand made Tortellino from hand rolled dough, served in capon broth)
Quadrucci di sfoglia tirata a mano in brodo di cappone (Hand rolled Quadrucci in Capon broth)
Maltagliati di sfoglia tirata a mano in brodo di fagioli (Hand rolled Maltagliati in bean broth)
Tagliatelle di sfoglia tirata a mano al ragù di carne (Hand rolled Tagliatelle with meat ragu)
Strichetti di sfoglia tirata a mano al ragù di carne (Hand rolled Strichetti with meat ragu)


If you don't notice anything else just look at the colour of that dough - and it comes just from the eggs they use.


This so reminds me of my house at christmas and easter.

I did sit down for a pasta and choose the tortellino


served with a fizzing glass of Lambrusco!

They were excellent but I still think my mothers cappelletti are better ;)

It's a fascinating event, there's the ability to taste traditional balsamic vinegars from over 90 producers that will surely open your eyes - personally, the taste workshop proved especially enlightening and if you have the chance to visit, then I can highly recommend it.

Click on the official site for more information:

For more photos visit the flickr set: Gusto Balsamico


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