Antico e moderno

A LOVE MATCH BETWEEN ANCIENT AND MODERN

Cavali’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.

The legend tells that already 2000 years ago, in the pantries of Riman villas, somebody discovered, with surprise, his cooked must (in italian called Saba) with the acetification process started and immediately realised the possible usage in order to season with success foods that where not at its best for quality and preservation.

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 historic documentation, lists that Henry III, came from Germany to Italy in 1046 in order to settle the dispute between the three Popes who were contending the chair of Peter, he succeeded in electing Clemente II that than crowned Henry III emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Before reaching Rome, he stopped in Piacenza where he approached Boniface, Marquis of Tuscany and father of the powerful Matilde of Canossa, for him to procure that “most excellent vinegar”, formidable balsam, crafted in Canossa Castle which had magnified the goodness and health benefits.
And Bonifacio, 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.

Said elisir, will be mentioned again, in the poem “Vita Mathildis” written from monk Donizone, biographer of the famous Countess Matilde, that hosted in her Canossa Castle, Pope Gregory VII when, during January 1077, the excommunicated Emperor Henry IV has been obliged to grovel for three days outside the Castle boundary walls, before obtain papal forgiveness.

Matilde of Canossa’s territories

Canossa’s Territory (in Reggio Emilia): land of origin of 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.

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 ofFERDINANDO 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.

For more information about the different kind of Balsamici in the market and their production goes to page: Balsamici

And, coming today, a flash information.
Do you 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 perfumes and tastes from his land, able to give power to legs, to will, to fantasy.