The ambivalent status of French Vinegar

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Regional Vinegars, Vinegar Industry0 Comments

French vinegar is good, but can it stand out? If there would be a country responsible for the development and refinement of vinegar in modern Europe, it would be France. Through the pre-Revolution corporations in many cities, especially the vinegar “capital” of Orléans, the Western traditional method of vinegar making matured from the 14th to 18th centuries. Though France was … Read More

Could balsamic vinegar ever become an asset class?

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Regional Vinegars, Vinegar Industry0 Comments

I have a feeling every oenophile that clicks on this post is probably laughing hysterically at the headline. For decades, fine wine has been bought and sold by not just individuals but also auctioned in high end auction houses such as Southeby’s and Christie’s for ungodly sums due to fine wine’s ability to both retain its value and grow in … Read More

A short history of vinegar in pre-modern Korea

Reginald SmithKorean Vinegars, Regional Vinegars, Uncategorized, Vinegar History1 Comment

Korea has an old vinegar culture dating back over a thousand years. While Korean vinegar history has been less thoroughly documented, especially in English, there are many references to recipes and processes for manufacturing of vinegar as well as culinary and medicinal uses. The Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), was the period of the flowering of the Korean culture and the establishment … Read More

China’s “Four Famous Vinegars”

Reginald SmithChinese Vinegars, Regional Vinegars5 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 Vinegars2 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

Balsamic Vinegar’s Manufacturing Process

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Regional Vinegars0 Comments

See part I on the history of balsamic and part II on the types of balsamic   Balsamic vinegar’s manufacturing process depends heavily on the type of balsamic as mentioned in the previous post. While almost all varieties use wine vinegar, even the presence of grape must is not a given with generic balsamic vinegar or balsamic condiments. We will … Read More