Next Stop Italy
Fulfilling a lifelong goal of
living in Italy, they moved to Florence, Italy with their
15-year-old son for six months. They took a view apartment on the
Arno, a short walk to the center, Antonio registered at the
International School of Florence and – presto – they were locals.
Florence was the perfect choice! (To read the full story of "A
Car Guy Moves To Italy",
Balsamic is Born
Already fans of Italian culture –
including their fast and beautiful cars, the cuisine and all the
mystique Italy has to offer – the Mandaranos had been introduced
long ago to the history of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
They understood the Consortium's Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
ratings, the difference in quality and the aging process and,
ultimately, the resulting price: from a few dollars for the cheap
stuff on the grocery shelf back home (having nothing whatsoever to
do with true Balsamic) to several hundred dollars for 3.5 oz of the
Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena Extra-Vecchio (of which only a few
drops are ever used at one time).
They even have the pleasure of personally knowing Giorgetto Giugiaro,
the designer of the official Consortium bottle in which the
Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena can only be contained.
This is related not to impress, but to let you know that they knew a
fair amount about Balsamic.
While living in Florence, they would shop at the local Esselunga
(supermarket). To no surprise, there was a plethora of Balsamic
vinegar on the shelf. A uniquely shaped bottle caught Janet's eye
and — as fate would have it — it was the most extraordinary moderate
priced Balsamic they had ever tasted (on par with Balsamics costing
four or five times the price).
Friends visiting from Seattle were also enthusiastic about this
particular Balsamic vinegar and — time permitting — they would be
off to buy several bottles to take back to the States. Emails
arrived asking if it would be possible to bring back
bottles...please, please...kid you not!
Son "Road Trip"
Having traveled to Modena for
over 25 years, Frank Mandarano had made many friends in the car
industry and always made time to drop in and say hello and share
This time the journey to Modena would be a special one, as his son
Antonio (15 yrs.) was his copilot. They loaded up the A-class
Mercedes and headed off on a “father and son road trip" to visit the
motor capital of the world and tour the Ferrari, Lamborghini and
Maserati factories together before returning to the States – and –
to find the source of that incredible Balsamic vinegar.
They checked into the Canalgrande Hotel in the center of town
(Frank’s home in Modena since 1978), and the next day they began the
search. It was not easy to find, but rarely are true treasures!
As it turned out the source was
right under his nose, a stones throw from Lamborghini where he had
been so many times over the years. Down a narrow lane in the heart
of Lambrusco country, the Family produces a line of rich Balsamic
vinegars from a 400-year-old award winning recipe, handed down from
mother to daughter over the centuries.
The Family is well known and highly respected in all categories of
Balsamic Vinegar — from the Extra-Vecchio Balsamico Tradizionale di
Modena to the younger less fermented Balsamic, which still maintains
its ancestral taste. The Mandaranos (and their friends) weren’t the
only ones who thought this particular Balsamic stood above the rest.
The Family’s Balsamico has been winning blind tasting awards and has
consistently been voted top in its class for over 85 years.
Over the next two years, they became good friends, discovering that
they had many mutual friends in Modena. Together they developed
‘Mandarano Balsamic Sauce
Glaze,’ a unique pathway to bring the Family recipe to America.
every product or service to be successful it has to be or do
you'll discover that Mandarano Balsamic Glaze
Sauce is no
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”
Frank & Janet Mandarano ~