Purple Sweet Potato Vinegar, Benimosu
Benimosu (beh-née-mo) is very special vinegar because of its stunning deep strawberry color and its pleasant sharp taste and aroma which are reminiscent of sherry vinegar. Benimosu is made from purple sweet potatoes, which centuries ago traveled with the Portuguese to Japan.
To produce Benimosu vinegar, steamed sweet potato is chopped and mixed with koji inoculated rice, mineral water and yeast. About seven days of fermentation produces alcohol tinted with stunning bright strawberry hue. The fermented mass is then pressed to separate the alcohol and the mash. Acetic acid forming bacteria are added to the alcohol and after three months the alcohol is converted to a unique aromatic vinegar. The vinegar is then aged about one year before bottling.
Benimosu is produced in two styles – one is straight, pure vinegar and the other is sweetened with honey. The plain vinegar is excellent for savory dishes and sauces, and stews and for salads, pickles and sushi rice preparations. In addition to wonderful flavor, Benimosu adds a very pleasing hue to all dishes. The honey-sweetened version makes wonderful cocktail addition. You will be delightfully surprised when you taste sweetened Benimosu stirred into beer or shochu (a distilled spirit made from barley, potato, sugar cane, or rice similar to excellent vodka). Creative bartenders will find many other uses for this product as a mix constituent for appealing cocktails. The honey-sweetened vinegar is also excellent for use in dessert preparations, or just drizzled over some over vanilla ice cream.
Another feature of Benimosu vinegar is its health benefits. The purple sweet potato is very rich in polyphenols, which act as antioxidants, and reputedly can block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth.
Ingredients: Organic purple sweet potatoes, rice, koji (fermentation starter); sweetened Benĺmosu contains honey and some no-GM corn syrup.