Ancient and modern

A love match between ancient and modern

Cavalli’s family welcome you to the refined, and in many respect fascinating world of Traditional Reggio Emilia Balsamic Vinegar. This product of science, love and art, which we are going to present to you, represents what is the most modern, and at the same time the most ancient, that can be served at your table.

In a narrow stretch of land between Reggio Emilia and Modena, a millenary tradition makes it still possible today to produce this elixir vinegar, considered for many centuries as an authentic balsam for the spirit and for the body, and put to best use in cuisine only in the last few decades.

Roman banquet

Appreciated right from antiquity for flavouring meats and vegetables and an ever-present ingredient in the Greek and Roman diet, it was documented for the first time around the year 1000 A.D. in the biography of Matilde of Canossa.

The story in fact relates of how the father of the medioeval Grand Countess, who lived in the castles above Reggio and Scandiano, gave a silver bottle as a present to Henry III, the Sacred Roman Emperor, containing the precious ancestor of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.

Notary papers

Discover later by the Este family, it was for centuries a constant presence on all the noble and more fortunate tables of the small dukedom. In the Eighteenth-Nineteenth centuries sets of barrels entered the dowry lists of the wealthier families in the Este family dominions, which also reinforced blood ties through the exchange of these vinegars.

The adjective BALSAMICO attribued to the product obtained after cooking, acetification and ageing in the wood barrels appears for the first time in the 1747.
In Rubiera, in the current Reggio Emilia province, an expense to: “top up must in the barrels of balsamic vinegar”, was listed

Balsamic Vinegar has therefore always been a very private and exclusive product of the Reggio and Modena families, used, thanks to its value and uniqueness, as a gift or in exchanges, never traded.

Territory of Matilde of Canossa
Area of origin of the production of traditional balsamic vinegar – Year 1046 a.d.

From the beginning of the 1950s, it seams that this tradition was starting to lose popularity due to the depopulation of the countryside in favour of the town life.

The cleverness and the entrepreneurial spirit of FERDINANDO CAVALLI have led to the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar resumption force, as to become a culinary phenomenon.

Also the industry guessed the potential of this product, with ancient origins, but new and unknown to the general consumers public, that is why they have introduced in the market, the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena that, aside from the  name, has nothing to share with the Traditional, both for raw materials used, for production technique and for sensory characteristics.

Ferdinando Cavalli, The winner of Palio -year 1974
Ferdinando Cavalli, The winner of Palio -year 1974

And, coming today, a flash information.
You have to know that our Reggianissimo (from Reggio Emilia) Dorando Pietri, moral winner of marathon of London Olympics in the 1908, during the race approched his sponge to nose and inhaled the flavour of balsamic vinegar advised by his mother…… “The magic concentration of parfumes and tastes from his land, able to give power to legs, to will, to fantasy…”(from the book “Il sogno del Maratoneta, la storia di Dorando Petri” – Giuseppe Pederioli – 2009)


The marathon runner Dorando Pietri with the trophy of queen Alexandra
The marathon runner Dorando Pietri with the trophy of queen Alexandra