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Rubio Balsamic Vinegar or other great balsamic vinegar sold locally?

exm7 Dec 14, 2008 12:35 PM

I love Rubio balsamic vinegar, which is a 12 year aged balsamic vinegar of Modena, Italy. I only know of mail order places in Boston that sell it for $32-38/bottle. Does anyone know of a local place that sells this brand? If not, does anyone have any recs for aged balsamic vinegar. This is delicious, rich, sweet vinegar made with grape must. I read that Villa Manodori vinegar is almost identical to Rubio. Thanks!

  1. foodwinemaven Jul 23, 2010 04:26 PM

    What are your favorite ways to use the Rubio? I just made some strawberry jam and put in some Rubio, Madeira, orange zest, and vanilla. Turned out tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodwinemaven
      DCDeb Jul 23, 2010 09:09 PM

      I love it drizzled on thin shaved Parm. I am getting to the bottom of my bottle of Rubio. Very sad.

    2. Meg Dec 15, 2008 05:35 AM

      A friend turned me on to creamed balsamic vinegar. She's hooked on it. I tasted it out of the bottle and loved its flavor and consistency. She gets it online. I don't know the name of it, but I'm curious if anyone else is familar with this breed of balsamic?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Meg
        deangold Dec 15, 2008 06:11 AM

        I am not familiar with it, but it is sold by Earthly delights, linked above, and is made by Carandini.

      2. d
        deangold Dec 14, 2008 02:56 PM

        Manodori is really good. It is a blend of young and older vinegars that has the flavor profileof an older, true well aged product. The problems with balsamico is that most of the labels are a lie as to actual age. My two favorite brands are Carrandini and Manodori. A step below but still very fine are Leonardi Cavalli. Cavalli has a condimento balsamico that is a younger, tarter style that works great ion cooking and is not outrageously expensive.

        I am not a fan of the Consorzio certified old vinegars. Aside from the lack of integrity of the age statements (ie a pure 100 year old vinegar would be jelly like and not pourable if truly authentic, the Consorzio tradiziones are usually bottles at 4.5% and not 6% which is the real tradition. Just isn't the same and the cost is huge because the producer needs to get his money for the time investment and the consorzio needs toget its money for the pretty bottle.

        One of my best friends is in the food brokering business in Modena and I have visited several producers with him. I have actually stuck my fingers in barrels of certifiable 30 year old and old vinegars. The real deal is so good and the real deal is not what Trader Joe's sells! (Note, not a general knock on Trader Joes: for example their dried fruits are simply amazing. But their balsamicos are, to my taste, completely bogus).

        Last add.... friends don't let freinds reduce balsamico. If its bad to start with, you just have a bad concentrate; if its good, its not a nice thing to do to a good vinegar!

        2 Replies
        1. re: deangold
          MartyL Dec 14, 2008 10:57 PM

          Dean: You enticed but forgot to tell us: One can buy Carrandini and Manodori . . . where, exactly?

          1. re: MartyL
            deangold Dec 15, 2008 06:09 AM

            These folks have a private label program from Carandini just as I did when I was with Whole Foods long ago in another life. This stuff should be great. The extravecchio is the 30 year and it is true 30 year, not a drop of vinegar less than 30 year and it has much older vinegars in it as well. The 20 year is perfect for steaks, lamb, chops etc or on gelato. The 30 year is best for balsamico on gelato or berries. The 10 year old is for caprese, or for atop sauteed or grilled mushrooms, in sauces etc. As you can see, Carandini makes tradiziones, which go for twice as much for 100 ml as he charges for 250 ml of the Oro. When I have visited Carandini Emilio and his wife, they won't even let me taste the tradiziones saying it is or the tourists but they slather the Oro on Vanilla Gelato.

            From time to time, Manodori has been available at Whole Foods. I get it wholesale for the restaurant, but I do not know if anyone currently stocks them. Same with Cavalli.

            I think you need three balsamicos in your kitchen, one thin and sharp for salad dressing, one complex and somewhat sharp for saucing and caprese and one old and rich for meats and gelato.

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