Similarities and differences between ‘balsamic’ ans ‘Modena’ vinegars

Today’s post is dedicated to a true jewel from our region, with a special focus on the vinegars of our Gardeny brand. But first, we need to give you some context.

After many years in the vinegar industry, in which we have listened and spoken to many people from a plethora of backgrounds, we have found that the terms ‘balsamic’ and ‘Modena’ create a certain amount of confusion. We’ve also found that many people opt for Modena vinegar when they’re really looking for a milder vinegar with sweet notes. This post seeks to explain the differences between balsamic and Modena vinegars and highlight the richness and uniqueness of our balsamic varieties, which are true treasures that hold their own against the finest Italian Modena vinegars.

Modena vinegar (aceto balsamico di Modena, in Italian) is a type of balsamic vinegar that is mainly produced in the Italian province of Modena in Emilia-Romagna. It is known for its quality and richness of flavour.

Balsamic vinegar is a true delicacy that only contains two ingredients: wine and grape must. It contains at least 150 grams of sugar from the same grape per litre, giving it a subtle and incomparable sweetness and making it the preferred choice for those looking for a slightly less acidic vinegar.

Badia Vinagres produces a wide range of balsamic vinegars under our Gardeny label, including apple balsamic vinegar, cava balsamic vinegar, Pedro Ximénez balsamic vinegar, vermouth balsamic vinegar and muscatel balsamic vinegar. We like to refer to the latter as “our local Modena vinegar”. In fact, it could best be described as its first cousin, but made with one of the finest treasures found in our region: the Muscatel grape.

  • Our apple balsamic vinegar is a refreshing burst of flavour made from the juice of locally sourced apples harvested at their optimum level of ripeness. It has a milder acidity than wine vinegar with very balanced sweet notes.
  • Cava vinegar is a culinary delicacy that is based on the sparkling wine of the same name. Rooted in a rich Catalan wine culture, this vinegar is a versatile option due to its exceptional character and mild acidic notes.
  • Pedro Ximénez balsamic vinegar is a true artisanal masterpiece based on ripened grape must. Its uniqueness lies in the meticulous process of obtaining the must from these grapes, which begins with careful manual harvesting. The grapes are spread out on a mesh and left to dry in the sun for several days, ensuring uniform drying. The must is then obtained through a delicate pressing process that produces a wonderful vinegar that is very similar to the Modena variety and a true marvel for lovers of gourmet gastronomy.
  • Vermouth vinegar is a tribute to the Catalan tradition of drinking vermouth with aperitifs. It is produced by following the traditional methods of the Italian Alps, with a combination of herbs and spices that lend a special character to vermouth wine. It is a highly original vinegar bursting with unique notes.
  • As we touched on before, Muscatel balsamic vinegar is one of the great treasures of our region and that which best resembles the Modena variety. The Badia Vinagres variety is based on the finest muscatel must and wine. Its exceptional balance, freshness and subtle character make this a memorable culinary experience for all who try it.

If you’re looking for vinegars of lower acidity, you could also consider our bittersweet range. In one of our previous blog posts, we explained that these products differ from vinegar in that they have less than 6% acidity. We at Badia Vinagres produce four different bittersweets: port bittersweet, merlot bittersweet, riesling bittersweet and orange tree honey bittersweet.

In short, while we appreciate the fame and quality of Modena vinegar, we also value the products that flourish in our region and remind us that our own culinary heritage is also worth cherishing.

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Health and vinegar!

Vinegar is a condiment that has been appreciated and used for centuries around the world. We are proud to bring this tradition to your table. But did you know that there is much more to vinegar than its delicious flavour and versatility in the kitchen? It can also provide us with significant health benefits.

In our quest to explore the expert-endorsed health benefits of vinegar, we came across some fascinating articles which formed the basis for the following.


Benefit 1: Blood glucose monitoring

One of the most remarkable benefits of vinegar was found in the study Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect, by researchers Carol S. Johnston and Cindy A. Gaas from the Department of Nutrition at the University of Arizona. They highlight the ability of vinegar to help control blood glucose, improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels after meals. This study is particularly relevant for people with type 2 diabetes or those looking to keep their sugar levels stable.


Benefit 2: Promotes weight control

The research mentioned in the article Funcional Propierties of Vinegar published by several researchers in the Journal of Food Science points out that vinegar can help increase feelings of satiety, which also reduces total caloric intake. In addition, it can help reduce the accumulation of fat in the body. It should be remembered, however, that it should not be replaced by a healthy and balanced diet.


Benefit 3: Improves digestion

In the same article we mentioned above, experts mention that vinegar can stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which facilitates the breakdown of food and the absorption of nutrients. This can relieve digestive problems such as indigestion or acid reflux.


Benefit 4: Regulates cholesterol and improves cardiovascular health

In our quest to explore the health benefits of vinegar, we couldn’t have overlooked a study titled Effects of grape wine and apple cider vinegar on oxidative and antioxidative status in high cholesterol-fed rats. The study reveals that apple cider vinegar has the potential to improve blood lipid levels. In particular, a decrease in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels was observed, which is promising in the context of cardiovascular disease prevention. A healthier lipid profile is essential to keep your arteries cleaner.


Benefit 5: Antioxidant protection

All studies have in common the antioxidant potential of apple cider vinegar. They point out that it can help fight oxidative stress, a process that can contribute to premature ageing and heart-related diseases. The antioxidants present in vinegar help neutralise harmful free radicals, thus protecting the body’s cells and tissues. 


Benefit 6: Improves cognitive function

Finally, we want to highlight the study Continuous Ingestion of Acetic Acid Bacteria: Effect on Cognitive Function in Healthy Middle-Aged and Elderly Persons.It presents a fascinating perspective on how regular consumption of vinegar, especially vinegar containing acetic acid bacteria, could be linked to improvements in cognitive function and brain health. This discovery is highly relevant in a world where ageing and concerns about brain health are increasingly common. During the study the researchers observed improvements in the memory, attention and cognitive function of their participants. Ultimately, vinegar, specifically that which contains acetic acid bacteria, could play a role in supporting long-term brain health and could be crucial in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

How do you incorporate vinegar into your diet?

Now that we’ve told you some of the research-backed benefits of vinegar, let’s talk about some simple ways to incorporate vinegar into your diet.

As a condiment in salads: use vinegar as a base for your home-made dressings, mix them with olive oil and, if you like, give it a twist with added fresh herbs. Enjoy the benefits of vinegar with fresh and healthy dishes.

Vinegar drink: mix a spoonful of vinegar in a glass of water and drink it before meals. It will help you improve your digestion, control your appetite and improve your cardiovascular health.

Sauce for marinades: adding vinegar to marinades and sauces enhances the flavour of meats, fish and vegetables. Also, vinegar makes food more tender.

While these findings are promising, it’s important to remember that moderation and a balanced diet remain critical to maintaining good health throughout life.

Health and vinegar!


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Walk with Badia Vinagres and give your feet an acidly refreshing touch

Did you know that at Badia Vinagres, we have a handbook of potions with vinegar for body care? The thing is, this so-typical household product bears natural properties which can also be used to treat our hair or feet.

Today we’ll discuss the benefits of apple vinegar for our feet, information which could prove quite useful to you in the summer months. It’s worth mentioning that apple vinegar is not considered an agent of direct hydration, but it can help us in certain aspects of the care and health of our feet, because it has antimicrobial properties and may be beneficial for some common foot problems.

For example, apple vinegar can help soften and remove dead skin from feet through its light exfoliating action. This application may prove beneficial if your feet have calluses or rough skin. Mix one part apple vinegar with two parts water and gently rub this solution into your feet with a washcloth or sponge.

The refreshing properties of apple vinegar make it your perfect ally in the hottest months. It may be useful for relieving tiredness and swelling in feet. Prepare a recipient with water, add a cup of apple vinegar and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes to obtain a sensation of relief and freshness.

Apple vinegar can also help us fight fungal infections like athlete’s foot due to its antifungal properties. Dissolve one part apple vinegar with three parts lukewarm water and soak your feet in this solution for 15-20 minutes. Vinegar is not effective against all kinds of fungal infections, so please consult a health professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis. If you experience any negative reactions to vinegar, stop using it.

And thus, thanks to the properties of apple vinegar, you’ll be able to walk through the summer months on healthy, light feet with Badia Vinagres.

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Don’t let appearances lead you astray: appreciate vinegar dregs

On the labels of our vinegars you’ll read ‘May produce natural sediments’. We’ll tell you why!

If some time after buying your vinegar you see a possibly strange-looking substance, don’t throw it out! Just the opposite: appreciate it, as it represents a synonym of natural product, of living product. This sediment, called vinegar dregs, is a biofilm produced by the vinegar’s fermentation, composed of a form of cellulose and bacteria – the beneficial sort – which transform the alcohol in wine into acetic acid.

All natural, unpasteurised vinegars may show the presence of this viscosity and turbidity in time. These substances are not found in industrial vinegars because they are removed for aesthetic reasons.

Give a second life to your vinegar dregs and use them to make your own vinegar at home!

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