This specialty from the Italian provinces of Modena and Reggio in the region Emilia-Romagna is also called balsamic vinegar, although it is not really conventional vinegar and the manufacturing process has been completely different for centuries. Legend has it that the then most powerful Italian nobleman, Duke Boniface of Canossa (985-1052) gave the German Emperor Henry IV (1050-1106) a vial on his proverbial passage to Canossa (30 km west of Modena). But that can not be right, because the Canossagang did not take place until 1077 and at this time Boniface was no longer living.
But it is possible that Henry IV met the balsam by Mathilde (1046-1115), the daughter and ruler-successor of Boniface. In any case, it is certain that Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) ate a spoonful of balsamic a day as a refreshment for body and soul. The princes of Este first introduced a classification of the "Aceto Balsamico" in the middle of the 16th century.