History

Vinegar is believed to be made first by the Babylonians in 5000 BC. According to Old Testament records, however, the first written account of vinegar use was in Israel as far back as 1250 BC. In Japan, vinegar was introduced around the 7th century. Originally, rice vinegar was produced from Sake. In the 16th century, large scale production of rice vinegar began.

The traditional manufacturing method of brewing the vinegar for an entire year continued until the beginning of the 20th century. Synthetically produced vinegar began to appear on the Japanese market in 1915. With the invention of alcoholic vinegar and the scarcity of food at the time, genuine rice vinegar began to disappear. Finally in 1942, the government began to regulate rice for use in vinegar production and traditional Japanese vinegar was replaced with alcoholic vinegar, synthetic vinegar, and vinegar lees.

After the WWII, as the food situation improved, rice vinegar reentered the market. However, most rice vinegar was made by mixing rice with sake lees or alcohol. Genuine rice vinegar became a rare product. Before 1969, synthetic vinegar had become mainstream, but brewed vinegar has begun to regain popularity amongst many who are seeking higher quality products. Over 70% of the total vinegar production today is brewed vinegar.

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