Tobaya Suten Master Craftsman Pickling/Sushi rice vinegar 1 litre (slightly sweet)
-Vinegar is a condiment
I believe vinegar is only a condiment. Its role is to add a taste of “food”, which humans cannot live without.
-Vinegar is a backseat player
The primary role of vinegar is to enhance the taste of dishes. Vinegar never comes out front, but indispensable for some dishes. The important backseat player than can give a dish an shining accent….I believe this is what vinegar should be.
-Fermentation is the works of God.
Fermentation can be chemically theorized, but every time I look at the vinegar which has just been through amazing fermentation, I can’t help thinking that it is the works of God. What we do is just put sake into steamed rice and add seed vinegar and wait till it is fermented. What is happening in a crock is so amazing that we cannot just take it as a simple chemical reaction. Just as water and the air is the gift from nature, the fermentation of vinegar is also the works of nature. What we are doing is nothing but to help its work. The amazing vinegar made from our crocks always make me think that no human can do the same even with the highest technology.
-Importance of repetition
Tobaya is a small long standing vinegar manufacturer which was established in 1710. I am the 12th president and working hard every day, which makes me think that it is hard to keep the family business for one’s life to hand it down to the next generation. I cannot help thinking of the past predecessors who had worked the same way for over 300 years repeating the same process. Of course some have changed since 300 years ago such as machines, buildings and people, but some essential processes haven’t changed and strictly followed. One of them is called “Kaiire”. It is the process to mix the vinegar mash with an oar by hand. Through this process people naturally start to hope that the vinegar mash they are mixing becomes nice tasty vinegar some day. Since its establishment, this process has been repeated for tens of thousand times. I believe repeating the same process is not just the repetition but the accumulation of the predecessors’ attachment to the vinegar