The fight against fraud never rests. According to the English newspaper “The Guardian”, 9000 tonnes of must (crushed grapes) from counterfeit grapes that were destined for balsamic vinegar production have been seized.
First things first, what is balsamic vinegar? Balsamic vinegar is a very dark, concentrated, and intensely flavoured vinegar originating in Italy, made wholly or partially from grape must. The one we see for sale in the supermarkets that we are most familiar is known as Balsamic vinegar of Modena. The regulations for this type allow the use of colour, wine vinegar and different grape varieties in the ingredients. In comparison, the more expensive Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia are produced from only 7 type of grapes, grown in the Modena or Reggio Emilia provinces and aged in barrels for years. It was the production of these types that the fraudsters had targeted.
According to the newspaper, certificates were allegedly falsified that allowed must from inferior grapes to be used in the production of balsamic vinegar. However, thanks to the police investigation this fraud was detected and the must confiscated.