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 claim that black vinegar has numerous medicinal properties,[7] such 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.

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Helm, Janet (March 29, 2012). "Is Black the New Black in Foods?". WebMD. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ a b Passmore, Jacki (1991). "Black Vinegar". The Encyclopedia of Asian Food and Cooking. Hearst Books via Oregon State University.
  5. ^ a b 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. ^