Papa’s vinegar was the best in Modena. With his profits, he sent me to business school.
Once I’d taken over the company, I discovered the source of the vinegar’s magic. A crone, older than time, was chained to the attic wall. Black blood dripped from her finger into a chute, down the wall and into the barrels in the cellar.
I tried to free her, but the moment the chain split she shriveled and died. Flavoring vinegar was her reason for living. Now bland vinegar has ruined Papa’s legacy. Success is much more complicated than we’re taught in business school.
Author’s note: I’m fascinated by the flavor of great balsamic vinegar. It seems other-worldly to me. This story is meant as a creepily fantastical explanation.