NEWS

元初新鲜事

元粉说丨温哥华著名作家遇上元初永春老醋

时间:2021-03-26 15:20浏览:1060

This $1.85 Bottle of "Famous" 

Yongchun Vinegar

A loss leader from Sungiven Foods, a store of loss leaders.

By Neal McLennan/ 


I'm no expert in Chinese vinegar, such that I'll often find myself at a Chinese grocery store staring at the multitude of offerings, having little to no idea of what I'm looking at and too embarrassed to ask any questions. So often I'll just go with trial and error, which is pricey and, given vinegar's long shelf life, makes the dark area under my cooktop very crowded.

Such was the backdrop to my first visit to the Burnaby-based Sungiven Foodsshortly before the pandemic arrived. I've since heard people refer to it as "the Trader Joe's of Chinese Groceries" presumably in reference to their affordable house brands and practice of selling all fruit and veg by piece rather than weight. But at the time of my first visit, all I knew is that it had moved into the old Safeway digs in the supremely weird City Centre Mall (which is not in the city centre at all, and was also home to this magazine for several years before I arrived). And it was awesome. Avocados, gai lan, mushrooms were all well priced. Bulk rice was a pittance. But as is my habit I ultimately found myself standing in front of the vinegar section, completely clueless.

Driven by the equal vectors of embarrassment and thriftiness, I reached for this bottle on the bottom shelf. I had no idea what was inside, but it was under $2 and the label looked discernible to me. And the truth is, it's tough to go wrong with most vinegar, especially if you're just using it to dip dumplings or green onion cakes in. But forget wrong—this bottle was all right, all the time. The perfect blend of tart and depth, like Balsamic, lemon juice and miso had a kid.

1616743035746256.png

I've since learned that Yongchun vinegar is one of the "Four Famous Vinegars of China." from supremevingegar.com:

The final of the four, and the least likely to be found outside China, Fujian Yongchun Red Vinegar is named both from the town in the southern coastal Fujian province it is made but also due to its unique red color as opposed to the black color of the other three. The red color comes from red mold in the Qu which comes from the Monascus rather than Aspergillus genus of molds. Distinct from the other three, Yongchun Vinegar is a liquid state fermentation process, similar to those in the West, and also uses rice almost exclusively as its starch.

Once converted to alcohol, the mash is poured first into an urn one-half full of one year old vinegar. One year later, one-half of this urn is poured into another urn one-half full of two year old vinegar. This repeats once more so that the vinegar is aged at least three years by the time it is done. This process of using successive containers of aged vinegar to mature new vinegar is nearly identical to the Solera process for aging Sherry Vinegar in Spain.

Oddly, the version from Sungiven has a darker hue than normal red vinegar (which often has that creepy maraschino cherry juice blast of colour), but the rest seems on point. So let's recap.

1. I got a famous vinegar;

2. That's rarely seen outside of China;

3. That tastes amazing;

4. For less than a toonie.

I know what everyone is getting in their stocking next year.


以上英文大意如下:


一瓶1.85美金的“名牌”永春老醋

 

我并不是一位对中国醋有研究的专家,当我在逛中国超市的时候,经常面临琳琅满目的商品,我却毫无头绪,又不好意思问店员。所以我只能反复的尝试不同的商品,但这非常耗费金钱,并且由于醋的保质期非常长,使得我灶台下的储存柜堆满了各种醋。

在疫情到来之前,对醋并不精通的我第一次访问了位于本拿比的元初食品。我曾听到人们称它为中国的Trader Joe's,大概是由于他们质优价实的自有品牌商品以及尝试以个体单位售卖水果和蔬菜并非以重量单位售卖。但在我第一次来的时候,我只知道它搬进了老西夫韦的市中心商场。当我到达之后,体验感简直棒极了!牛油果、甘蓝和蘑菇的价格都十分实惠。散装大米更是质优价实。但如同之前所述,站在醋的货架面前,我依然一筹莫展,不知如何选择。

在尴尬请教和节俭金钱的双重驱使下,我购买了置于货架底层的醋,标签清晰可辨且价格合理,心里暗自祈祷此次一定要成功。其实,在未尝试我买的这瓶醋之前,我总认为醋千篇一律,无非就是蘸饺子或者作为葱油饼的佐料,这个想法在我品尝过Sungiven的醋之后破灭了,恰到好处的酸味以及后续美妙的回味,融合了香醋、柠檬汁、味噌的优点,太美妙了!

后来我在supremevingegar.com了解到永春醋其实是“中国四大名醋”之一。

虽然永春醋是四大名醋的最末位,却也是在中国以外的国家最难买到的一种。永春醋的命名来自于中国南部沿海城市—福建省永川县。永春醋不同于其他三款名醋。永春醋的颜色是红色的,红色来自曲霉菌中的红色霉菌,并且采用了液态发酵的工艺,有点类似于西方的醋,而且几乎只是用大米作为原料。

淀粉一转化成酒精,人们就会先把麦芽浆倒进一个装了半缸一年陈醋的缸中,一年后,再把缸里的醋倒到另一个装有半缸两年陈食醋的缸里,然后在重复一次这个过程,等醋做出来的时候就有三年陈了。连续用装有陈醋的容器来陈化新醋,这样的酿醋工艺流程几乎与西班牙陈酿雪利酒醋的工艺相同。

比较吸引我的是,永春醋的红色比其他红醋颜色更深,没有令人毛骨悚然的马拉斯奇诺樱桃汁的颜色。

总结的差不多了,让我们一起来回顾一下关键信息:

1.我买到了一款名醋

2.这在中国以外的国家非常难买到

3.味道十分美味

4.质优价实,不到2加币

相信大家已经知道明年该囤点什么在你们橱柜里了!



原文发表于:https://www.vanmag.com/The-Case-For-This-185-Bottle-of-Yongchun-Vinegar-From-Sungiven-Foods