Iio jyozo, famous for fuji-vinegar is manufactured in Kyoto. They have been making vinegar for 125 years. If you have read our taste of Japan articles before, you will notice that Japanese manufactures have been operating for a long time. Their expertise and knowledge of their ingredients and products keep them in business.
There are about 400 vinegar manufactures in Japan, but Iio jyozo are the only vinegar brewery in Japan which conducts the entire process from cultivating rice, brewing sake, and brewing the vinegar completely by themselves.
Their factory is facing to the sea of Japan, nice water makes good rice and vinegar and its ingredients. Their brewers create Sumoto-moromi, (junmai-shu), the source of vinegar themselves. They make rice malt, a vital ingredient in brewing sake, by hand.
While many manufacturers make rice malt by machinery, they continue to make it manually under the belief that creating good rice malt is the key of making good sake. Even today, their master brewers stay at the sake brewery during the sake brewing season in winter and continue to make their best efforts to create high-quality junmai-shu.
Every winter, they start making vinegar. Making vinegar from moromi (mix rice and koji) takes a long time so they stay at work for 100 days.
It is fermented for 100 days and then left to mature for 300 days.
They only use the rice that is harvested in the year to make vinegar. They only want to use the rice that they make so they know no chemicals are used. Their "Fiji pure vinegar" is made from just water and rice, nothing else. They use 8 times more rice for vinegar than usual vinegar that is sold in Japan, so that is why their vinegar is not just sour but rich and tasty.
Fujisu Premium was selected as one of “The best foods they ate in 2015”, in The Guardian. Fujisu Premium features a delicacy like daiginjo-shu (top-quality sake brewed from rice grains milled to 50% of weight or less), and a rich flavor, which we have endavoured to make of for 20 years.
Red vinegar is the vinegar that is made with sake kasu, that is fermented over 3 years. Sake kasu are the lees left over from sake production. They can be used as a pickling agent, the main ingredient of amazake, a cooking paste to add flavor to food and as a marinade.