Vinegar can only be called Balsamic if it is made in the region of Emilia Romagna, from specific grape varieties which are grown strictly in that region of Italy. (our "Balsamic of Modena" contains a small amount of red wine vinegar)
THE MOTHER is the pro-biotic colony consisting of yeast and acetic bacteria which work in tandem to ferment the product. Research shows this pro-biotic to be very beneficial for gut health.
Balsamic with any artificial additives loses its Italian designation. It is strictly illegal in the United States and most other countries to add any ingredient if it is not clearly declared on the ingredient label, such as thickeners, caramel coloring and artificial sweeteners. Most of these ingredients are added to the vinegars here in the US to prolong their shelf life and remove "the Mother".
Age is a marketing tool. Balsamic Vinegar aged in wood barrels using the traditional system, loses 10%-12% of its volume per year, meaning a 25 year aged Balsamic of this nature would be so thick, it would need to be scraped from the bottom of the barrel. Such a product is so rare, that is does not leave Italy, and commands thousands of dollars per bottle if sold. Age refers to the age of the barrel, not how long the vinegar has been sitting for.
White and Dark Balsamic is made from the same White Trebbiano grapes. White Balsamic is cooked at lower temperatures than the Dark, and aged in newer wood barrels to retain its light color and softer flavor.
Olive Alchemy's Traditional Balsamic Condimento
Aged in 5 types of wood barrels to absorb the flavor of each:
oak, mulberry, ash, juniper, and cherry;
At 1.28++, it is the highest density of any bulk balsamic sold in North America.