This dark fermented rice vinegar, 镇江香醋 Chinkiang from Zhenjiang in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, China, is a main stay in our kitchen and on our table. I never really looked close for difference but I was told by a girl friend
“Buy the one with plum blossom on the bottom. That’s the real thing.”
So if I do remember her warning, I’ll flip the bottle and check the mark. Most time I don’t.
The one that didn’t have the plum blossom tasted more or less the same.
That was then.
Few weeks ago, I bought 6 bottles home.
Upon first taste, Pumpkin asked
“Mom, what’s THIS?”
Opps, I must have gotten the wrong vinegar.
Next time shopping, I got few bottles of real one and compared them side by side.
Guess it’s obvious.
My question is: the left one is imitator made by a competitor or the same factory producing different line of product? The importers should stop importing and the grocers stop selling them.
When can China stop copycat and put their effort into making something real and useful? Are they really that dumb?
Lately, there are more dark vinegars in the Chinese supermarkets. Those black liquids, once monopolized by 浙江 Zhejiang Province, now seems to be sharing the lime light with Shanghai and 山西 Shanxi Province. Taste wise they’re pretty similar. They’re the main stay in Northerners’ home. The Southerners favor different kind, red. Perhaps nowadays more immigrants are from north so the supermarkets reflect those demographic change as well.
Golfer, the southerner whose family are from Guangdong province, had never tasted those black vinegar before we met, now favors it very much.