Marushige is a vinegar brewery local to Fukuyama town in Kagoshima prefecture. This Kyushu-located vinegar brewery specializes in kurozu, or black vinegar. While kurozu can be found throughout Japan, Marushige does not make typical kurozu. Marushige's kurozu is made using only natural brown rice (genmai) and traditional brewing methods that have been passed down since the Edo period.

In order to make special kurozu, Marushige takes steamed brown rice, koji (a fermenting agent), and groundwater and adds them straight into a clay pot. All of the ingredients used in Marushige's kurozu are local to Kagoshima and Kyushu and of the highest quality to ensure the best taste. The kurozu mixture is left to ferment in the pot for more than a year, and the vinegar is periodically checked on and mixed to ensure an even fermentation. Typical kurozu is fermented for only 6 months, but Marushige takes double the time to craft their kurozu because they want to create black vinegar that is full-bodied, easy to consume, and most importantly, tasty.

Marushige is seriously committed to producing the best kurozu in Japan. In fact, they are one of the only black vinegar breweries to receive Geographical Indication, which is a special Japan-only indication that protects and identifies agricultural products originating in particular regions or territories, meaning that other breweries cannot produce the same product. Therefore, Marushige is one of the only black vinegar breweries in Japan able to brew their vinegar in their particular way. The result is a kurozu black vinegar that is rich in amino acids and has the sweet, rich aroma of rice.

In addition to their special kurozu black vinegar products, Marushige has also created a unique line of fruit-based drinking vinegar. What makes these drinking vinegars so special is that they are made with real fruit-infused vinegar rather than with fruit juice or chemicals. Marushige never uses any chemical seasonings, yeast extract, artificial sugar, or artificial flavorings in any of their products.

If you want to dive into the world of Japanese vinegar and try products that are much more local and hard to find outside of Japan, the Marushige vinegar is hands down one of the best choices!
Artisanally crafted vinegar takes much more time to prepare compared to conventionally made vinegar. Not only is at least double the time required but in order to make truly tasty vinegar products, the best quality of ingredients is absolutely critical. In Marushige's case, all of the ingredients used in their kurozu and other vinegar products are carefully sourced to ensure the best flavor. They also care about the health of their customers which is why they're committed to making vinegar products free of additives, chemicals, and preservatives. 
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