Adventures in Food: Rice Vinegar

So at my favorite chinese restaurant, they have an amazing delicious vinegar on the table, used as a condiment. I've asked a couple times what it is, and they look at me as if I have three heads and say it's vinegar. When asked what kind, they say, "Vinegar." I haven't gotten up the nerve to ask to see the bottle. And ultimately that's probably going to have to be my next step.

But in search of this delightful condiment, I purchased a bottle of Black Vinegar. I was hoping against hope that it would be what I was looking for. While it is delicious, and the right color, it is not the same stuff. The stuff on the table is light, roasty, malty, but much richer than a standard malt vinegar. The stuff in this bottle tastes like worchestershire sauce as a vinegar rather than a salty-sauce. Good, flavorful, and has come in very handy in my stir fry adventures, but ultimately not what I'm looking for.

What's unclear is whether Black Vinegar and Black Rice Vinegar are even the same thing. I think they are. And this issue could even be a simple matter of brand; it being not a single-ingredient fermented into vinegar so much as many of them being mixed for a condiment.

In the meantime, I'm pretty excited because I've discovered there are even more types of rice vinegar. Time to stock up and play around with them!

Unrelated to vinegar, I'd really like to work on my curries. I certainly am not a pro at stir fries, but I've gotten good enough at them that they're edible and even pretty good when I put a little effort into them. I'd say I'm at a low-intermediate level with them. I'd really like to get somewhere past "basic beginner" with curries and at least be able to tell what sauce is what. Heck I can't even do that with Italian food but I prefer curries anyway. Very excited to explore Northern Indian, Southern Indian, Thai curries... I don't even know what other ones are out there! Very exciting projects ahead. As soon as my kitchen is unpacked.


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