Jacques François Demachy and the ‘piss vinegar’ legend

Reginald SmithVinegar HistoryLeave a Comment

Likely the first technically inclined manual on vinegar production was Art du Vinaigrier or “Art of the Vinegar Maker”, written in French by the French chemist Jacques François Demachy in the year 1780. At the twilight of the ancien régime, Demachy wrote a comprehensive treatise on vinegar incorporating both common practice from various countries, including France, as well as the … Read More

China’s “Four Famous Vinegars”

Reginald SmithChinese Vinegars, Regional Vinegars6 Comments

Part I on the history of Chinese vinegar Part II on the fermentation process of Chinese vinegar China has four famous vinegars that are renowned throughout the country and important for their respective regional cuisines. Here we discuss them. It is helpful to read part two (link above) to understand the process by which most Chinese vinegars are made. Zhenjiang … Read More

All about Sherry Vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez)

Reginald SmithRegional Vinegars, Sherry Vinegar, Vinegar History2 Comments

The vinagre de Jerez or sherry vinegar is a unique product of Jerez de la Frontera, a town in the Spanish province of Cádiz in the region of Andalusía. Like most of Europe, wine making in Spain extends back to Roman times, or perhaps even farther due to Phoenician, Greek, and Carthaginian colonies. This tradition survived even during the Moorish … Read More

China’s Vinegar Culture: Making Chinese Vinegar

Reginald SmithChinese Vinegars, Making Vinegar, Regional Vinegars5 Comments

See part I on the history of Chinese vinegars here See part III on the “Four Famous Vinegars” of China here Like all vinegars, the basic path to vinegar is the fermentation of an alcoholic substance by vinegar bacteria. However, instead of using waste wine or liquor, Chinese cereal vinegars start with starchy material, change the starch to glucose and … Read More

China’s Vinegar Culture: A History of Vinegar in Ancient China

Reginald SmithChinese Vinegars, Regional Vinegars, Vinegar History1 Comment

Like most things in China, vinegar has a long recorded history. The character for vinegar, 醋 or cù (pronounced ‘sooh’), is ubiquitous connoting both the condiment as well as a metaphor for a bitter life condition. Chinese civilization first arose primarily along the Yellow River in what is now north central China. Like elsewhere, the development of agriculture and fermented … Read More