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Aug 29, 2007 02:20 PM

Do They Still Import China's Secret Vinegar?

It seems to have disappeared, and I can't find it online, though I've tried many search tricks. I think it's better than balsamic, a lot cheaper, and I can't find it anywhere. Help. Thanks.

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    1. re: Joel

      Actually, it's made mostly with sorghum. It's very molassas-y. There are a couple of brands, but "China's Secret" is the only one I've found that's actually good--- very good.

      1. re: schlimmerkerl

        OK, I didn't read the title of your post correctly.
        I didn't realize that "China's Secret" was the brand name.
        Here's a post from ten years ago that describes it.
        I'll keep an eye open for it when I go to Chinatown.

        1. re: Joel


          Yes, i followed every thread i could think of from that article… nothing. If you find a bottle, let me know, and i'll definitely pay you back. Thanks.

    2. The vinegar you are looking for is of the type called 'Shanxi mature vinegar' (http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_abo...
      )The best two brands in my opinion are Ninghuafu which looks like this (http://img04.taobao.com/bao/uploaded/...) - 3 years fermentation period, and the other one is Meihuachun (http://www.cec-ceda.org.cn/famousdb/q...) - 1.5 year fermentation - but in the southern Shanxi so more sun i guess...

      1. I had no problem finding the Mature Vinegar as descibed in jaguanna's post. I got it from my local Chinese supermarket, The Great Wall. It is the second one linked to in that post. it is labeled as Mature Vinegar, trademark Donghubrand. The label on the bottle is virtually identical to the one in the link. There is a web page (entirely in Chinese) noted on the bottle:


        Anyone out there who can read this website may be able to tell us if this is indeed the same thing as China's Secret. The price was very low: $1.50 for 420ml. The flavor is pretty much as described in the article cited by Joel.

        It also has an English sticker on the back which says Brown Vinegar, DZH Import and Export Co. Woodside, NY phone 718-205-8312.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          Hey steve & other vinegar connosieurs out there

          The vinegar I described is different from the Chekiang vinegar from joels post. Chekiang is rather sweet, especially for stirfrying.

          Shanxi mature vinegars have more lemony zing, and wouldnt taste as sugary. Though it probably isnt lemon im tasting

          1. re: jaguanna

            Can you read chinese? What does the website say? Is this not 'mature vinegar' as labeled on the bottle? The label on the bottle is just about identical as the one in your post.


            1. re: Steve

              Yes,steve,it s the second one which jaquanna suggested! I am a chinese and can read chinese obviously :) I personally prefer Shanxi vinegar and it is very famous from ancient china.Also brown vinegar is better than white vinegar which mostly made from concentrated liquid.

              1. re: fruitlover

                Based on the earlier posts on this thread, I recently picked up two bottles of mature vinegar in Atlanta, one the Donghu brand mentioned above ($1.39) and the other Shui Ta brand (I don't remember the price, but probably not much over $3 if that). The taste of them is similar, grassy and lemony tang as mentioned by jaguanna--the Shui Ta is maybe a bit finer, and the label says it comes from Quingxu, which is the county where the best is supposedly made according to the story linked above.

                It would be great to find that China's Secret stuff--the story says it was the US name for whatever vinegar it was, so it surely is still made but under what (Chinese) name?

                Steve---are you getting into Chinese cooking?

                1. re: johnb

                  No, I didn't buy it for Chinese cooking. I love vinegar and sauces made with vineger, so I got it to test. It does go well with a variety of things, like fish and chips, and makes a good base for a salad dressing.

        2. Here's an 11-year-old article about "China's Secret" vinegar. I don't know whether it's still available at the source given, but the article does give a description of the vinegar and tells where it's made.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Nancy Berry

            I'm glad i checked back. Great info. Thanks everyone.

          2. The original comment has been removed