Saba: Limited Release! - Kalamazoo Olive Company
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Saba: Limited Release!

If there’s any dressing that deserves more recognition from American palates, it’s Saba. So what exactly is it? Many view saba (also known as sapa) as the ancestor of balsamic vinegar. Just like balsamic, saba starts out as grape must. Must is a mixture of grape juice, skins, and stems. The name derives from the Latin term, “vinum mustum” which translates to “young wine.” Where saba and balsamic vinegar start to diverge is how much they’re reduced and what happens afterwards.

Must that is being used for balsamic vinegar is boiled down to about half of its original volume. What remains gets stored to ferment for a few weeks, and then it matures in a barrel for a minimum of 12 years. Saba on the other hand is far simpler to make. The grape must is reduced to about a third of its original volume and remaining syrupy substance is…saba!

A good bottle of saba can have as much complexity in flavor as a good bottle of balsamic. It sweetness was praised by both the ancient Greeks and Romans. So how does one go about finding some? Your best bet would be to look towards Modena, Italy. If there’s a Mecca for saba (and especially balsamic vinegar) it would be this city. The surrounding region of Emilia-Romagna, is known for its grapes that have a high Brix content. For those unfamiliar, Brix is term usually used in the wine industry for measuring the sugar content of grapes.

Not only are the grapes a major factor, but the technique for making saba is also important.  Acetum, a balsamic and saba producer in Modena has been in business since 1906. What sets their saba apart is their prolonged cooking process that removes moisture and concentrates extract solids in the must. This process makes a final product that’s thicker, richer, and more complex than other sabas on the market.

At the Kalamazoo Olive Company, we’ve received a shipment of Acetum saba. Since saba is a seasonal product, we have a limited quantity, and it’s expected to go out fast.

Stop by Kalamazoo today to pick up a bottle of your next kitchen staple before it’s gone.

Use PICKUP in the discount code to get “no shipping charges/pick up in store”