Ice Cream with Balsamic Vinegar

Join my Small Group Food & Wine Tour of Modena – Home of Balsamic Vinegar

Vanilla Ice Cream with Balsamic Vinegar - as enjoyed on the Modena Food Tour

Vinegar on ice cream? Really? Absolutely if it’s the thick black gold of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. Good vanilla ice cream dotted with traditional balsamic vinegar is a life-changing dessert. This sweet-sour elixir made from grape must is aged in a series of barrels of various woods (including cherry, chestnut and juniper) and fractionally blended in a Sherry-like solera. The minimum age of the vinegar in a bottle of extravecchio (very old) is 25 years though, due to the solera system, it will also contain portions of much older vinegar. Drip extravecchio Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale onto good vanilla ice cream for a dessert you’ll never forget. I buy my traditional balsamic vinegar from Acetaia di Giorgio, the vinegar producer I take my Modena food tour guests to visit for a tour and tasting of the precious barrels stored in the attic of the family’s historic villa. You can order online if you’re not visiting Modena anytime soon (though it’s much more fun being there in person with me). Scroll down for a video of the highlights of my Italian food tour including Modena, Parma and Bologna, and to learn more about Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in the FAQ below.

Serves 4

  • 500ml vanilla bean ice cream
  • Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, for dripping
  1. Place 4 champagne coupes, or similar shaped glasses, in the freezer to chill well.
  2. Scoop 8 balls of ice cream and place in a dish in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
  3. When ready to serve, remove both from the freezer and place ice cream in glasses.
  4. Serve, then drip the balsamic vinegar onto the ice cream at the table.

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What Other Travellers Say

Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
Janet (Tamworth, NSW, Australia)
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Just back from the most amazing trip to Emilia-Romagna with Roberta. Not only the home of Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Balsamic Vinegar, but scenery to die for and more quaint and exciting restaurants and cafés than you ever imagined. And Roberta is just the person to help you discover and enjoy them! Her knowledge of the history of the region and its wonderful cuisine know no bounds and all added to the excitement of the trip. It was faultless - well organized and lots of fun!
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
Deb (Belconnen, ACT, Australia)
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Wow, what a tour – I learned so much! Awesome fun traveling through Emilia-Romagna experiencing first hand some of the produce I've worked with over the last couple of years cooking with Roberta's recipe kits – the family are reaping the benefits now. If you're thinking of joining Roberta in future years get ready for an amazing experience.
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
Mark (Elizabeth Bay, NSW, Australia)
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My wife and I recently joined Roberta's Emilia-Romagna tour. We enjoyed all the temptations offered and learned a lot about that part of Italy, especially its food and wine culture. What was most impressive was Roberta's local knowledge of people and places. The planning and effort she put into making the whole experience seem effortless was remarkable.


Which region is famous for producing balsamic vinegar? Where is traditional balsamic vinegar made?

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is made in two neighbouring areas, Modena and Reggio Emilia, both in Emilia-Romagna.

How do i know the balsamic vinegar i buy is authentic traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena?

Look for the distinctive squat bottles with a bulbous top and tapering base – these are only used for Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena and all certified traditional vinegar must use these bottles. It will be labelled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and have the D.O.P. (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) stamp of the European Union on it.

How long is traditional balsamic vinegar aged for?

All Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena must be aged for at least 12 years.

How do I know how old traditional balsamic vinegar is?

A white cap indicates the 12 year old and a gold cap the 25 year old.

What woods are used to age traditional balsamic vinegar?

The casks used to age traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena are various sizes made from many different woods including chestnut, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash and juniper. As the vinegar ages it is usually transferred into different barrels so the different woods can add their unique influence to it.

How do I use Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena?

The easiest – and most delicious – way to use traditional balsamic vinegar is in a simple dessert of vanilla ice cream with balsamic vinegar. It’s great drizzled over strawberries too.

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