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    imagawa-Japanese Taste


    Based in Kanazawa city, Imagawa is a traditional vinegar maker that has been crafting high-quality vinegar products for over a century. The small family-owned business is committed to making Japanese vinegar that is handmade and of the highest standard possible.

    When it comes to making vinegar, there are three methods to making it. Out of the three methods, Imagawa opts to practice what is known as the ‘static fermentation method’. This type of method is a natural brewing method, but it also takes the most time to achieve. Rice vinegar that is made using the static fermentation method must be made from sake. Therefore, Imagawa must handmake sake and moromi before they can even make their vinegar products.

    Imagawa believes that good vinegar comes from good alcohol. In order to craft the best vinegar possible, they feel that making their own alcohol is critical. They steam rice, combine it with koji (the fermenting agent), and pure water into small wooden barrels during the winter season to start the vinegar-making process. They let these ingredients sit together and slowly age, to bring out the natural aromas of the ingredients.

    After letting the ingredients sit together for over a month, they then go through a secondary fermentation process to become vinegar. During this second fermentation, this is really when the umami of the ingredients comes out and gives Imagawa vinegar its unique mellow flavor. Each vinegar product from Imagawa undergoes the same process, giving each product the distinctive yet familiar flavor that Imagawa is respected for.

    Traditional vinegar-making requires time, care, and high-quality ingredients in order to receive results. Imagawa believes that in order to craft vinegar that is of the highest standard, they must make everything from scratch. This intense and time consuming process requires years, as they must first make sake before they can make vinegar. Imagawa understands that even though their strict and traditional crafting process takes years, the results are worth it if they can create vinegar products that complement Japanese and non-Japanese cuisine.

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