Vinegar is a very magical condiment.
Those who love vinegar can decide what to eat today for the sake of vinegar, but other condiments rarely have this treatment. In the movie "The Evil Doesn't Suppress Righteousness", Lan Qingfeng, played by Jiang Wen, has to ride a bicycle to "make a bottle of vinegar" because "I made this dumpling just for this vinegar."
There are four famous vinegars in China-Shanxi old vinegar, Jiangsu Zhenjiang fragrant vinegar, Sichuan Langzhong Baoning vinegar, and Fujian Yongchun old vinegar. Among them, Shanxi people are addicted to vinegar, and everything can be vinegar.
So, why are people in Shanxi so jealous?
Before vinegar was born, how did people get the sour taste?
The answer is plums.
According to Zhu Wei's textual research in "Kao Chi", the juice of the plum is mashed and made into plum syrup. Later it was discovered that corn can also be made into physalis. On the basis of making physalis, koji is added to make bitter wine. This has been fermented with koji, which is actually an early vinegar.
Early vinegar had two names-"醯" (xī) and "酢". The name "醯" appeared earlier. According to the "Zhou Li" records, there were already special "li people" positions at that time, controlling "vinegar" and using vinegar to remove the greasy and smell of meat.
But whether "醯" is the vinegar we are talking about is controversial.
The original word for "vinegar" today should be "酢" at that time. The word "酢" appeared in "Shuowen Jiezi". "Qi Min Yao Shu" clearly pointed out: "The vinegar, the vinegar today." At that time, the vinegar production process was fully mature. "Qi Min Yao Shu" records more than 20 methods of making vinegar, such as "barley vinegar method" and "biscuits vinegar method". The raw materials for making vinegar include grain millet, sorghum, glutinous rice, barley, wheat, soybeans, and adzuki beans.
今天“醋”的原始单词在那个时候应该是“酢”。 “说文解字”中出现“酢”。 《齐民要术》明确指出：“醋，今天的醋”。当时，醋的生产工艺已经完全成熟。 《齐民要术》记载了二十多种制醋方法，如“大麦醋法”和“饼干醋法”。制醋的原料包括谷类，高粱，糯米，大麦，小麦，大豆和小豆。
So when did the word "vinegar" appear?
Although there is a word "vinegar" in Shuowen Jiezi, it means to entertain guests. The argument of vinegar seems to have originated in the Tang Dynasty. "Kao Chi" stated: The Tang Dynasty's "Morality and Wilderness" records that Fang Xuanling's wife was jealous. Li Shimin once gave him a pot of vinegar, so there is a "jealous" classic.
To this day, vinegar has long been an industry, and all kinds of vinegar in supermarkets are attractive. But never leave its origin. From the perspective of molecular cuisine, the core component of vinegar is acetic acid, and its production process is nothing more than saccharification of the starch component in the raw material-yeast breaks down sugar into ethanol (that is, alcohol) and carbon dioxide-acetic acid bacteria convert alcohol into acetic acid. By understanding the raw materials and production process of vinegar, you can understand the difference between vinegar and vinegar.
According to raw materials, vinegar can be divided into:
Grain vinegar (with grains and grains as main raw materials)
Alcohol vinegar (using alcohol as the main raw material)
Sweet and sour (using various sugars as the main raw material)
Wine vinegar (with various alcohols as the main raw material), white vinegar is made by fermenting distilled wine.
Fruit vinegar (using various fruits as the main raw material), etc. .
In China, grain vinegar accounts for half of the vinegar. Grain and vinegar can be divided into:
Aged vinegar (using sorghum as the main raw material and Daqu as a starter). Shanxi aged vinegar is made from sorghum; aged vinegar is brewed longer than aged vinegar and has higher acidity than aged vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar (using glutinous rice as the main raw material and Xiaoqu as a starter). Both Jiangsu Zhenjiang vinegar and Sichuan Langzhong Baoning vinegar are balsamic vinegars.
Rice vinegar (using rice as the main raw material)
Potato vinegar (using cereals or potatoes other than rice as raw materials)
In addition, we often see the concept of brewing vinegar and blending vinegar (blending vinegar) in life. The so-called brewing is made by fermenting raw materials; the so-called "blending" and "blending" are adding sugar, sour agents, flavoring agents, spices, preservatives, etc. to glacial acetic acid.
Generally speaking, the flavor of brewed vinegar is better because many flavor substances are produced during the fermentation process. However, there is no difference between the two in terms of nutrition and safety. However, using blended vinegar to pretend to be brewed vinegar is a consumption fraud and a business integrity issue.
In foreign countries, fruit vinegar and wine vinegar are the most common on the table. The top condiment balsamic vinegar, which uses concentrated grape juice as the raw material, belongs to fruit vinegar; the Spanish sherry vinegar, which uses lighter sherry as the raw material, belongs to wine vinegar. In the future, I will write a single article to introduce foreign vinegar.
Balsamic vinegar is a representative of high-end condiment brands. In fact, all parts of China also have their own vinegar brands. Such as Zhenjiang vinegar, Shanxi old aged vinegar, Sichuan bran vinegar, Beijing smoked vinegar, Shanghai rice vinegar, Fujian red yeast vinegar, Zhejiang rose rice vinegar, Guangdong glutinous rice white vinegar, glutinous rice sweet vinegar, Dandong white vinegar, full-standard rice vinegar, Taihang rice vinegar, Longmen rice vinegar, Machine wheel balsamic vinegar, etc.
Among them, the most famous are the four famous vinegars in China mentioned at the beginning of the article-Shanxi old vinegar, Jiangsu Zhenjiang fragrant vinegar, Sichuan Langzhong Baoning vinegar, and Fujian Yongchun old vinegar.
Tofu brains are salty or sweet, zongzi vegetarian is meat, and tomato scrambled eggs with salt or sugar have become the three major confusing behaviors of contemporary South and North diets. In fact, the raw materials and taste of vinegar can also reflect the difference between North and South products and eating habits.
Shanxi old aged vinegar is a representative of northern vinegar species. The main raw materials are red heart daqu made from sorghum, peas and barley, and mixed with whole grains. The color should be brownish red to dark brown, soft sour taste, long aftertaste, sweet and sour.
The abundant rice and glutinous rice in the "land of fish and rice" in the south ensure the availability of raw materials for brewing vinegar in Zhenjiang, Fujian and Sichuan.
Zhenjiang balsamic vinegar uses high-quality glutinous rice as raw material, adopts the traditional double saccharification, alcohol fermentation and acetic acid solid-state layered fermentation process, the color is dark brown or reddish brown, the taste is soft, sour but not astringent, fragrant and slightly sweet, mellow and delicious [ 2];
Fujian Yongchun old vinegar uses glutinous rice as the main raw material and red yeast rice as the saccharification starter. After alcohol fermentation, liquid acetic acid is used for fermentation. The color is brown, the entrance is soft, and slightly sweet .
Sichuan Langzhong Baoning vinegar uses rice, corn, bran, etc. as the main raw materials, and then adds Baikiao, Coptis, Amomum, ebony, cinnamon and other Chinese medicinal materials to make vinegar. Its color is black and purple, with a strong sour taste.
Among the four famous vinegars, the Chinese microbiologist Fang Xinfang once backed Shanxi vinegar by his real name:
The most famous vinegars in my country are Shanxi vinegar and Zhenjiang vinegar. Zhenjiang vinegar is strong and has medicinal gas, and it is slightly inferior to Shanxi vinegar. The color and smell of Shanxi vinegar on the cover are all due to long-term aging. The vinegar of vinegar is formed by chemical action. It is not artificial but fake. It is worthy of our country. staple.
Countless articles have analyzed this phenomenon, mostly from the perspective of properties and climate:
1. The soil and water in Shanxi are highly alkaline and vinegar can be neutralized.
2. Shanxi people love to eat noodles (How much do Shanxi people like to eat noodles? Please read
3. Shanxi is short of salt, so salt is replaced by acid. Salt was a scarce product in ancient times. In order to supplement salt, the ancients came up with methods to replace salt with plant ash, replace salt with acid, replace salt with pepper, and replace salt with nitrate.
In fact, the eating habits of a place are affected by many factors. Culture, economy, history, geography, properties, transportation, etc.
Whether Shanxi people love to be jealous, apart from daily observation and experience, they also have to look at statistics.
So instead of asking "Why is Shanxi so jealous", it is better to ask "Why is vinegar a cultural symbol of Shanxi".
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, there were vinegar workshops all over Shanxi. Many well-known vinegar companies that have survived can be traced back to Shanxi merchants in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Shanxi merchants are an important force to push Shanxi vinegar out of Shanxi. Liubiju Sauce Garden, an old shop on the grain shop street outside Qianmenwai, Beijing, is said to be a small shop opened by brothers Zhao Cunren, Zhao Cunyi, and Zhao Cunli from Xidu Village in Linfen, Shanxi, specializing in firewood, rice, oil and salt. As the saying goes: "Seven things to open the door: firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, tea", these seven things are indispensable for people's daily life. The Zhao brothers' small shop, because they don't sell tea, they named it. Six must live .
Outside the Shanxi merchants, "Shanxi people love to be jealous" became more widely known through the pens of literati and Shanxi people who went out. Wang Zengqi wrote: Shanxi people are really jealous! A few people from Shanxi went to a restaurant in Beijing. After they had settled down, they had not yet ordered the vinegar bottle, and each drank three tablespoons of vinegar. The guests sitting next to him stared straight.
A few years ago, Shanxi’s business card was Coal Boss and Land Rover. Today, when the local food culture is exported strongly, Shanxi people love to be jealous and eat noodles that can be used for a year, which is also a rare memory point in Shanxi.
For Shanxi people today, "love to be jealous" is more of a dietary habit inherited from history and established by conventions. As some netizens said: "Jealousy is the eating habit of generations of people in Shanxi. No one has ever explored this truth."
Vinegar is the best way to study China's "medicine and food homology" culture.
Many people believe that peanuts soaked in vinegar can soften blood vessels, wash hair with vinegar to remove dandruff, and smoke the house with vinegar to sterilize and disinfect.
Apart from pepper, probably no condiment has so many "functions." Although these "functions" are just psychological sustenance.