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black vinegar

thenurse Jul 11, 2006 07:05 PM

What is this and where can I find it? I'm located in Toronto... downtown.

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    Hungry Celeste RE: thenurse Jul 11, 2006 07:09 PM

    It's a traditional chinese ingredient, espec in szcheuan cooking. Very very dark in color, richer in flavor than standard clear rice vinegar. I got my large, inexpensive bottle at an asian grocery (far, far from toronto, so I can't help you with that part).

    1. Becca Porter RE: thenurse Jul 11, 2006 07:20 PM

      A regular poster on another board that cooks a bunch of asian recommends Chinkiang Vinegar. He says its the best brand from his massive taste tests.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Becca Porter
        jmnewel RE: Becca Porter Jul 11, 2006 08:00 PM

        This was probably Gold Plum brand Chingkiang vinegar. It is great. My local Chinese grocery went out of business, so I now get it at Ethnic Grocer.com. It is under $2.00 per bottle.

        1. re: jmnewel
          Becca Porter RE: jmnewel Jul 11, 2006 08:25 PM

          Yeah, thats it. Sorry I forgot that part.

      2. m
        mhoffman RE: thenurse Jul 11, 2006 07:24 PM

        A few months ago I went searching for back vinegar at Super 88 in Boston Chinatown. I thought I'd found it, but when I got the bottle home the contents tasted like vinegar mixed with Wostershire sauce - not the tangy, rich goodness I know to be the flavor of black vinegar.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mhoffman
          Aromatherapy RE: mhoffman Jul 12, 2006 09:29 PM

          That's Taiwanese black vinegar. I made the same mistake. Apparently it has its uses but I tossed mine. Ick.

        2. limster RE: thenurse Jul 12, 2006 02:48 AM

          There are a few varieties; I'm most familiar with two of them. The ChinKiang/Zhengjiang black vinegars from the namesake city in Jiangsu are used extensively in the cooking around that province. (Jiangsu cooking is one of the pillars of Shanghainese cuisine.) Shanxi also has a dark vinegar of their own that's perhaps a bit more pungent; Northern Chinese seem to prefer it (well, at least my Northern Chinese friends).

          These are the more commonly available ones at least in the US, and one might see them used in restaurants that specialize in Chinese cuisines from other regions.

          I believe there's a version from Sichuan as well, which contributes to some of their traditional dishes like hot and sour soup.

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