Made with the cooked must of grapes grown in the soil of Emilia Romagna, Family Reserve Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia by Dodi is inherently linked to the land and climate of the region. Aged for years in fine wooden casks, this balsamic condiment is ideal as seasoning for salads, raw vegetable dips, boiled meats and sauces. Delicate with fish and meat dishes, you may also enjoy a few drops of Riserva di Famiglia on a flake of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It gives a unique added taste to fruit salads, gelato, creams and eggnogs. Come bed-time, it makes an excellent nightcap, alone or in company.
It all started in 1891, in the little town of Gavasseto, in the province of Reggio Emilia when Acetaia Dodi's current owner's grandmother, Carmelina Ligabue, was born. To help them through the hard times, Grandfather Ricordano asked Grandmother Carmelina to sell her casks of balsamic vinegar but she was adamant: "I held onto them when you were at war, and I'll save them again this time to leave to our firstborn son Rolando". They lived in S. Valentino until 1930, poor but proud to keep alive the family tradition of balsamic vinegar to hand down to their children. Grandmother Carmelina pressed Trebbiano grapes for the juice to top up the casks of vinegar she stored like precious treasure in a tiny attic room over the children's bedroom. In 1925, the market for Parmigiano-Reggiano went into a terrible slump that ruined many operators, including Ricordano's grandfather Ricordano, who lost everything and had to leave Bastiglia with his wife and their five children, and move to S. Valentino di Castellarano. In February 1930, the family moved to a nearby town called Cadiroggio. Grandmother Carmelina communicated her love of balsamic vinegar to present day owner, Ricordano Dodi, as a child, and taught him all the rituals that for centuries have characterized its preparation: how she gathered the grapes, and pressed them with her feet, then cooked the must in a copper pot to top up the casks. She taught him many little secrets as well - and the best technique to make an excellent cooked must: add a few nuts to prevent it from turning the greenish color of the copper pot; boil it over a low flame; put a few glass balls in the pot to keep the must from burning. Ricordano's busy life as a cheese producer, following in my father's footsteps, never quenched my passion for balsamic vinegar, but rather increased it. When Grandmother Carmelina died, as the firstborn son Ricordano inherited the casks of Riserva di Famiglia. This passion is shared by his wife, Valeria, too. So now you could say that the entire Dodi family is a "prisoner" of the world of balsamic vinegar. Their plant, called Acetaia Dodi, is in Casalgrande along the old road that leads to Canossa, the Fortress of that great lady of history, Matilde, a place rich in history and site of fabulous events. Today, Ricordano is happy to be able to let you enjoy part of the Riserva di Famiglia.