The History of Blacks in Vinegar Making

Reginald SmithVinegar History0 Comments

Vinegar has been made for millenia—surely as long as wine and beer. Vinegar is a dilute solution of acetic acid made by special bacteria that transform the alcohol into this new compound using oxygen. The first records are from ancient Babylon but later vinegar is recorded in almost every part of the world. Africa was no exception. Given that brewed … Read More

Quickly Make Vinegar: The Semi-Quick Process for Making Vinegar (The Boerhaave Process)

Reginald SmithMaking Vinegar, Vinegar History2 Comments

Vinegar making is many things: fun, educational, delicious, healthy, and an ancient tradition. I have made many posts about making vinegar at home and the traditional process, often called the “slow process” makes the most flavorful and well-rounded vinegar. The downside is the time: minimum is usually three months starting from a minimal mother and starter. Six months total for … Read More

What does it mean to measure vinegar with ‘grains’?

Reginald SmithAll About Vinegar, Uncategorized, Vinegar History, Vinegar Industry0 Comments

As vinegar’s industrialization spread globally in the early 20th century industry terminology became standardized. In particular, it was found that the sale of vinegar was confusing without a standard nomenclature for the strength of the vinegar. Percent acidity is the commonly known term for vinegar strength. Percent acidity is measured in grams of acetic acid per 100 mL of water … 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

Giants of Vinegar History: Dessaux Fils of Orléans

Reginald SmithScions of Vinegar, Vinegar History3 Comments

  The history of vinegar in France, Orléans in particular, has played a large role in the history of vinegar. The artisan vinegar makers of Orléans waxed large in the ancién regime but later began to fade as both free market liberalization and industrialization took their toll. However, amongst these would emerge several companies that not only survived the changing … Read More

Jacques François Demachy and the ‘piss vinegar’ legend

Reginald SmithVinegar History0 Comments

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

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: 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