Brown Rice, Hijiki Seaweed, Spring Water, Brown Rice Koji
900ml/30.4oz x 6
Umami, Complex, Addition Of Hijiki Seaweed Yields Slight Bitterness, Nuttiness
Master crafted by true vinegar artisans following ancestral methods handed down through the generations. Created by natural fermentation, these craftsmen combine local brown rice, local matcha leaves picked at peak ripeness, spring water and brown rice koji in large stoneware pots which are set in the sun for the duration of its natural journey. Typically started in the spring or the fall when the mid-day sun is still mild and the nights are cool, which is ideal for this natural process. Dedicated workers stir each pot every couple of days over the next few months until the master instructs them the pot are ready to be left alone to allow the mother to form. After anywhere from six months to a year depending on the weather the resulting liquid is a clear, mostly one-dimensional vinegar. Each pot is topped off with spring water and left undisturbed to age to the masters liking, which is typically around one to one and half years. The finished product is a herbaceous, floral vinegar with pleasant acidity and welcomed sweetness lending many culinary applications.
Togo-Su Persimmon Vinegar is master crafted by true vinegar artisans in the traditional form of natural fermentation. These craftsmen combine only three ingredients in stoneware pots which are set in the sun to allow nature to care for until complete. Both astringent (Hachiya) and sweet (Fuyu) varieties of local persimmons are tossed in large stoneware pots along with spring water and koji to protect from putrefaction. The persimmons are picked in the fall and the fermentation process is started right away. The warm days and cool nights of this period help the natural fermentation process along. The craftsmen stir the pots every couple days during this period. As the weather gets colder, less attention is required and the mash is left alone to allow the mother to form. The seasonal schedule is perfect for this process as the vinegar should be ready for straining in the spring. The result of this beautiful process is a delightful, bright and fun vinegar with many applications. The color is light brown to almost orange and is unfiltered. Sediment is left in the final product to allow the vinegar to continue to gain flavor while still in the bottle which is the preferred style of this region. The flavor is difficult to properly describe as is the flavor of a raw persimmon to be fair. The vinegar is a light, bright, citrus style with the right amount of acidity for the subtle qualities of the fruit. This is not a powerful vinegar meant to overpower stronger flavors, rather it is quite delicate and should be used to augment.
Master crafted by true vinegar artisans following ancestral methods handed down through the generations, Togo Su Ginger Vinegar is the perfect combination of spice, acidity and the natural floral bouquet only ginger can provide. Created by natural fermentation, these craftsmen combine local brown rice, local ginger, spring water and brown rice koji in large stoneware pots which are set in the sun for the duration of its natural journey. Typically started in the spring or the fall when the mid-day sun is still mild and the nights are cool, which is ideal for this natural process. Dedicated workers stir each pot every couple of days over the next few months until the master instructs them the pot are ready to be left alone to allow the mother to form. After anywhere from six months to a year depending on the weather the resulting liquid is a clear, mostly one-dimensional vinegar. Each pot is topped off with spring water and left undisturbed to age to the masters liking, which is typically around one to one and half years. The finished product is a perfect balance of spice, nice acidity and pleasant ginger bouquet, lending many culinary applications.
Togo-Su Kurozu Vinegar is an Aged Artisan Amber Rice Vinegar that is brewed following a tradition dating back to the Edo period 200 years ago. Recently, brewers have experimented with aging this vinegar, which traditionally was not done. When the vinegar is aged, it darkens in color, softens and a subtle caramelization is present. This natural maturity is what differentiates it from traditional brown rice vinegars found throughout Japan. The site of tens of thousands of stoneware pots blinking in the sun along the hilly coasts lines of southern Japan is truly a site to behold. Using only three ingredients, local organic brown rice, brown rice koji and mountain spring water, The Gentle Brewer combines these carefully into century old stoneware pots and allows them to naturally ferment in this open micro-climate ideal for such a revered process. Typically started in the spring or fall, when the sun is a medium temperature during the mid-day, then cool ocean breezes keep the pots company at night. This natural cycle is essential to proper fermentation and is what makes this vinegar so special. The entire process takes about 1 to 1.5 years and each pot has its own schedule and own unique color and taste. The vinegar is then aged anywhere from 3 to 5 years.
A highlight of the Japanese fruit season is the revered Ume plum harvest. The Japanese plum is seen in many forms, from wine (umeshu) to pickled (umeboshi) to vinegar (umesu). The harvest of these special fruits, which is typically in June, requires precise timing. The plums go from not quite ripe to perfectly ripe one day, to falling on the ground the next. It takes a trained eye to make the right decision when to pick these little gems. Probably the most common form of this fruit is the umeboshi or sour plums. When the plums are harvested, they are washed and soaked overnight. They are then transferred to a wooden tank and salted evenly with sea salt, covered with a breathable paper and left alone to cure. After a few weeks a brine begins to form and this brine continues to gain mass as more time goes on. The amount of time the ume age in the brine is of personal preference, but it is widely accepted that they improve with age. This brine, when finished and strained is umesu or plum vinegar. During the aging process, the Red Shiso leaves are ready for harvest and they are added to the aging plums and brine. The Red Shiso add an incredible color to the brine as well as contribute a wonderful herbaceousness. When the ume are ready, they are strained from the brine and brine is bottled for vinegar. Togo-Su Ume Shiso Vinegar is a result of a one and half year aged brine and possesses a nice firm fruity taste with the natural sweetness of the process. The marriage of perfectly ripe fruit and the timing of the addition of the Red Shiso leaves, along with age is what creates this wonderful, unique vinegar. Umesu is a sweet vinegar and it best when used in moderation to lift flavors and excite palates.