Black vinegar

A bottle of Black Vinegar.

Black vinegar is an inky-black vinegar aged for a malty, woody, and smoky flavor.[1][2] It was first popularized in East Asia, particularly southern China, where in the city of Zhenjiang it became known as Chinkiang vinegar.[3] It is made from rice (usually glutinous),[4] or sorghum, or in some combination of those, perhaps including wheat and millet.[5]

A very different black vinegar is made on the central plains of China and is most associated with Shanxi province.[6] Called specifically Mature Vinegar (simplified Chinese: 老陈醋; traditional Chinese: 老陳醋; pinyin: laochencu), it is made from sorghum, peas, barley, bran and chaff and has a much stronger smoky flavor than rice-based black vinegar. It is popular in the north of China as a dipping sauce, particularly for dumplings.


Some promote black vinegar for its medicinal properties, as a tonic which may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.[1][5] In Japan, kurozu is a somewhat lighter form of black vinegar, made just from rice. It has been marketed as a healthful drink; research on kurozu has suggested it has anticancer properties in vivo on rats[7][8] and in vitro on human cancer cells.[9]

Black vinegar has been used as a full-flavored but less expensive alternative to traditional balsamic vinegar.[2][4]

See also


  1. 1 2 Helm, Janet (March 29, 2012). "Is Black the New Black in Foods?". WebMD. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  2. 1 2 Kapadia, Jess (August 17, 2012). "Could Black Vinegar Be The New Balsamic?". Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  3. DK Publishing (2010). "Oils, Vinegars, and Flavorings: Vinegars". The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients. New York: DK Publishing. p. 516. ISBN 9780756667306. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  4. 1 2 Passmore, Jacki (1991). "Black Vinegar". The Encyclopedia of Asian Food and Cooking. Hearst Books via Oregon State University.
  5. 1 2 Switzer, Christine (October 9, 2010). "Health Benefits of Black Vinegar". LiveStrong. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  6. "Sour Story - Shanxi Mature Vinegar". 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  7. Shimoji, Yumi; Kohno, Hiroyuki; Nanda, Kumiko; Nishikawa, Yasushi; Ohigashi, Hajime; Uenakai, Kazuo; Tanaka, Takuji (2004). "Extract of Kurosu, a Vinegar From Unpolished Rice, Inhibits Azoxymethane-Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Male F344 Rats". Nutrition and Cancer. 49 (2): 170–3. doi:10.1207/s15327914nc4902_8. PMID 15489210.
  8. Fukuyama, N; Jujo, S; Ito, I; Shizuma, T; Myojin, K; Ishiwata, K; Nagano, M; Nakazawa, H; Mori, H (2007). "Kurozu moromimatsu inhibits tumor growth of Lovo cells in a mouse model in vivo". Nutrition. 23 (1): 81–6. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2006.10.004. PMID 17189090.
  9. Nanda, K; Miyoshi, N; Nakamura, Y; Shimoji, Y; Tamura, Y; Nishikawa, Y; Uenakai, K; Kohno, H; Tanaka, T (2004). "Extract of vinegar "Kurosu" from unpolished rice inhibits the proliferation of human cancer cells". Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research. 23 (1): 69–75. PMID 15149153.
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