Black vinegar also known as jit cho is a type of Chinese vinegard that is made from rice, wheat, millet or sorghum. Like Italy's balsamic vinegar, it can vary in flavor, sweetness, and viscosity. The best vinegar, Chinkiang Vinegar, made from glutinous rice and malt, is from Zhejiang on China's north coast. The better black vinegars are well aged and display a complex, smoky flavor. Black vinegar is less tart than white vinegar. Chefs in Shanxi region, near Beijing, add it to just about everything. They cannot poach an egg without adding vinegar. One brand, Gold Plum Chinkiang vinegar or zhenjiang xiangcu which translates to Fragrant Vinegar of Zhenjiang, won the French Laurier d'Or de la Qualite Internationale in 1985. This type of vinegar is used by the Chinese in braised dishes, with noodles, as a dip or a seasoning, and is added to soups just before serving.
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