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Some vinegars -- often expensive, aged balsamics -- contain a big dose of lead
In a tradition dating back to medieval times, growers in Modena, Italy, are deep into the grape harvest, the first step in making their famed balsamic vinegar.
Cooking the trebianno and lambrusco grapes releases rich juice that is then stored in vintage barrels. At least a dozen years of fermentation and evaporation reduces the wine to a sweet, fragrant elixir, the pride of a gastronomic culture.
Thousands of miles away, in California, signs in grocery stores warn shoppers about exposure to a dangerous metal in many balsamic and red wine vinegars. The way they are produced, or perhaps heavy metals in the soil, leaves some vinegars tainted with lead, a highly toxic heavy metal.