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Apr 25, 2013 10:31 PM

Saba in Boston Area?

We had saba served with the quail, lentil and pork sausage plate at Giulia last night, so I am learning, quite late, about this valuable (and expensive)grape byproduct, "cooked must." Formaggio has it at about $17 for 375ml(half wine bottle size, 12 ounces.) Has anyone seen it for better price (capone's?) and have you been happy with it? thx much.

this is succinct, from an older CH thread:

bushwickgirl Aug 17, 2010 11:43 PM

They're basically all the same thing, although mosto cotto and saba (cooked grape must) are more similar by some explanations than vin cotto, (cooked wine) but saba is referred to vin cotto in Southern Italy, so I'm not completely sure there's that much of a product difference between cooked grape must and cooked wine; the bottom line is, the names is interchangeable and regional.

Here's a NYT link that will explain what these syrups are and offers some tips on how to use them. You may need to have an NYT account to read this link, but it's free from the New York Times:

Even more info:

Here's a quote from a CI forum poster:

"Syrup vinegar that is produced from the unfermented residue referred to as "must" that is produced from Trebbiano grapes as they are processed into wine. Fruity in flavor, Saba is a mildly sweetened vinegar that is aged for over 2 years, going through a natural fermentation process that concentrates the consistency and flavor of this vinegar as it matures and becomes balsamic vinegar. In Italian, Saba is often labeled as mosto cotto, which translates into "cooked grape juice." It may also be referred to as Saba grape mosto reduction. It is a vinegar that is typically served with meats, poultry, and desserts or combined with other sauces to enhance the flavors."

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  1. I have a bottle that's a couple of years old that I picked up when I received a gift certificate from Savenor's. It was at the Cambridge store, and if I remember correctly, was behind the registers. Unfortunately, I must have taken the price tag off, but I know it wasn't cheap. You could call them, though.

    Now maybe you've motivated me to work with it a bit. It's been sitting there and I've only used it as a drizzle a couple of times.

    1. My SO has her in-laws bring "Glassa Balsamica" by the truck load when they come over from Italy. She puts it on salads, cooked veg, heck, it's darned good on strawberries in the same way that a really nice aged balsamico is. It is essentially a combination balsamic vinegar and boiled down grape juice. Tasty stuff and can be drizzled on just about anything. I have always seen it as a bit of a cheat in lieu of the really prices aged balsamicos.

      Ponti is the brand they usually bring, but there are several:

      As usual here in the US we prefer to make anything Italian "rare and special" and charge (what to my father in law) are laughably high prices for what is in Italy an every day product. Musto cotto is $2 a bottle product over there, likewise for this glassa balsamica product.

      By the way, "must" is not a residue, it is just freshly pressed grape juice before being made into wine:

      3 Replies
      1. re: StriperGuy

        well th much for the 'must ' correction; I would have been misstating that for the rest of my life, probably! As to the future in laws' truckload, give me some fair warning and i'll have finished sewing my Zorro mask :-}

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Yah I have not seen any Glassa Balsamica products for sale here in the US...

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Mine is San Giacomo Saba. Delicious, but I have nothing to compare it to.