The Grape Once Again Proves Its Versatility

The New York Times


January 13, 2010

Vinegars So Luscious, You Could Sip Them
Florence Fabricant

Balsamic is not the only mellow Italian vinegar with a pedigree. Centuries ago, the Este family of Ferrara produced sopraffino. Unlike classic balsamic, it is made from red grapes (not white), which are not cooked but instead concentrated by natural evaporation during aging, similar to Spanish sherry vinegar.

In 2000, a descendant of the Este line began making the dark, lush, well-balanced vinegar again, to drizzle on grilled fish or chicken, or in another season, on ripe tomatoes.

Spain is the source of a different richly concentrated grape product, arrope. It is similar to Italian saba, but more viscous, with toasty opulence. Spoon it on cheesecake, over poached pears or on fresh pineapple. A variation, arrope y tallaetes, is more syrupy, with pieces of candied pumpkin, and is delicious alongside cheese or cured ham.

Mitica arrope y tallaetes is $9.95 for 8.4 ounces from

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