Balsamic vinegar dates back to the ancient Romans but the term "Balsamic" is relatively new and was used for the first time in the records of the ducal inventories of the Este Palace in Modena in 1747; (1) probably the name derived from the therapeutic uses to which the vinegar was put at the time. (2)
With the birth of the Italian State (1860) the new stimulus given to the markets generated a gradually increasing interest in Balsamic Vinegar, and also encouraged impressive historic and bibliographical studies on the product. In 1839 Count Giorgio Gallesio, an agriculturist of the time spent several days studying the production method of balsamic vinegar and his manuscript notes, rediscovered in 1993 in Washington in the United States, (3) are the oldest "technical" document to describe the way in which Balsamic Vinegar was made in the Modena area.
At the end of the 19th Century, Modena Balsamic Vinegar started to appear at the leading exhibitions, attracting great interest not only within Italy but also at the international level.
1. "Register of the vintages and sales of wines, on behalf of the ducal cellars for the year 1747", Italian State Archives.
2. Gioacchino Rossini in a letter to his friend Angelo Castellani: ‘…just a little vinegar from Modena, with its proven refreshing, soothing properties, soon restored some measure of health and tranquillity…’.
3. Giorgio Gallesio, 1839, manuscript.