There is a very special kind of aged black rice vinegar from Japan, 'Kurozu'. A very unique fermentation process makes Kurozu one of the most revered and respected food and drink products of Japan, making it not only an exceptional vinegar but a great alternative to alcohol.
Naturally fermented in century old 54 litre ceramic pots in the open air for at least one year, and up to 15 and beyond. It's made using 3 base ingredients: organic brown rice, brown rice koji and mountain spring water, plus sometimes an additional natural flavouring such as yuzu, honey or umeboshi plum.
Kurozu Vinegar slowly refines over time and, broadly speaking, this softens the acidic notes giving a rounder, milder taste.
It is crafted, fermented and aged in Fukuyama town in Kagoshima prefecture, the birthplace of black vinegar. Artisans have perfected their craft using a 200-year-old traditional process, ensuring that however long the ferment, the result is always a perfectly balanced, highly pleasurable flavour to experience.
Kurozo As a Pick Me Up Drink
In Japan you'll find Kurozu Bars where people will go to enjoy a shot of their favourite Kurozu vinegar. It's widely believed that drinking Japanese fermented vinegars offers many health benefits such as antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. Modern science is starting to take notice of the folklore and there are some interesting studies and findings on the matter.
We would like to introduce you to....
9 Vinegars That Taste Nothing Like The Vinegar You Know
1. Three Year Aged Black Rice Kurozo Vinegar
Aged for 3 years, this vinegar maintains a powerful acidic punch. Mixed with still or sparkling water, this makes a deliciously refreshing drink. Also perfect for salad dressings, this will add a beautiful acidity and elegance to your vegetables. Alternatively, lightly poured over some fresh fruits will enhance their sweetness.
2. Three Year Aged Black Rice Kurozu Vinegar with Green Ume Plum
Citrus acid notes paired with umami-packed black vinegar. Unripened green plums have a beautiful sourness and strong fruity plum flavour in this deliciously mellow vinegar from Kagoshima. Simply sublime, a refreshing and healthy drink that tastes like no other, or use it on salads or drizzled over fruit dishes.
3. Three Year Aged Black Rice Kurozu Vinegar with Yuzu
Fresh, ripe, locally sourced yuzu are combined with 3-year aged black kurozu vinegar, the citrus aroma and tart flavour of yuzu compliments and enhances the rich acidity of the vinegar. Chefs love this vinegar for its citrus punch, making it perfect for salad dressings and fish marinades. Mix with still or sparkling water for a refreshing summer drink.
4. Five Year Aged Takara Black Rice Kurozu Vinegar
The name “Takara” means premium, this symbolises the devotion of the master artisans producing this exquisite vinegar.
The irresistible aroma and complex taste makes for an an intriguing drink to be savoured; enjoy neat over ice or dilute with still or sparkling water. Fantastic for sour soups, tangy noodles and in many Japanese dishes, this is the perfect premium vinegar for an extra dimension of flavour.
5. 'Treasure Kashida' - Ten Year Aged Black Rice Kurozu Vinegar
Hand brewed, fermented and aged by master artisans using a process that has not changed for 200 years, this long-aged vinegar increases in flavour and mellows in acidity as it matures. The characteristic deep amber colour and enticing aroma elicit high praise from top chefs throughout Japan and now the rest of world.
Sommeliers also appreciate the subtle yet complex aroma and flavours, so much so this vinegar is appearing on wine lists, as the desire for intriguing and unique alcohol-free drinks increases.
6. Fifteen Year Aged Black Rice & Soybean Kurozo Vinegar
Meticulous care and patience over 15 years, produces one of the finest and most sought-after black vinegars in Japan.
The dark appearance is similar to balsamic vinegar. Revered as a drink, when diluted with 10 parts water, the complex flavour is savoured, as with a fine wine.
7. Three Year Aged Izumi Rice & Soybean Black Vinegar
During the fermentation specialist Kurozu craftsmen carefully monitor the vinegar every day in its ceramic pots. This black vinegar has a refreshingly acidic, sweet flavour with a slight fruitiness. Fermenting brown rice and soya beans creates abundant quantities of amino acids, over 5 times more than ordinary rice vinegar. A beautifully balanced drink that is beneficial for health and an excellent alternative when avoiding alcohol.
Ideal for use in dressings and sauces or for pickling, chefs love using this vinegar for a hint of sweetness, an acidic tang and deep umami notes.