Kurozu: Rare Japanese Vinegar is Worth Its Weight in Gold (Video)
In a small southern Japanese town called Fukuyama, there is a unique type of vinegar that has been brewed for over 200 years using a traditional fermentation method. It is called kurozu, a Japanese black vinegar that is known for its smooth and mellow taste, making it a favorite among chefs across the country. One of eight vinegar breweries in Fukuyama that still uses this ancient method of making black vinegar is Sakamoto Kurozu, and one of their brew masters , Kenji Tachiwada, has been working there for the past 40 years.
Kurozu is made using only three ingredients: brown rice , koji, and water from a natural spring. The brewing process uses giant clay pots that are left outside for up to five years, and each jar of vinegar is aged at its own pace. As a result, kurozu is rare and expensive, with one bottle costing at least double the price of a regular, mass-produced rice vinegar. The unique flavor and health benefits of kurozu have made it increasingly popular, and customers from across the country seek it out year-round.
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Top image: Kurozu Japanese Vinegar. Source: kazoka303030 / Adobe Stock.