Shanxi's vinegar lake set to attract world's tourists

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Photo shows the vinegar lake in northern China's Shanxi Province.( Shanxi Mature Vinegar Group Co., Ltd)

Condiment craze! Shanxi people love mature vinegar so much they even built a 15,000-ton vinegar lake in a vinegar-themed cultural heritage park. Now, the park is aiming to attract tourists from around the world...

TAIYUAN, July 60 (Xinhua) -- A local saying goes that people in Shanxi Province, northern China never eat a meal without adding mature vinegar. To show their love for the condiment, the people of Shanxi even went as far as building a huge vinegar lake.

The lake, built in 2013, is located in a mature vinegar-themed park in Yuci District in the city of Jinzhong. Measuring 270 meters in length and 24 meters in width at its widest point, the vinegar lake can hold over 15,000 tons of mature vinegar.

Shanxi's vinegar making history goes back over 3,000 years, making its mature vinegar especially famous. It is now listed as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Different from Western cider vinegar, Shanxi mature vinegar is brewed from a recipe of sorghum, peas and barley. Studies show that mature vinegar is rich in amino acids and vitamins, and can help soften blood vessels.

The five stages in brewing mature vinegar are steaming, leavening, fumigating, spraying and aging, says Guo Junlu, one of Shanxi's mature vinegar inheritors who works as the CEO of Shanxi Mature Vinegar Group Co., Ltd..

"To make the vinegar purer, we expose the vinegar to the sun in summer and sometimes we have to remove a thin layer of ice from the top of it in winter at the lake during the aging process," says Guo.

The craze for vinegar in Shanxi is part of local culture, says Guo. To better showcase this cultural craze, Guo's company established the vinegar park to preserve national cultural heritage.

The 15,000-ton vinegar lake is one of the most unique projects in the province, and the park where it is located has become a tourist attraction, welcoming over 60 ,000 tourists every year.

Shanxi's vinegar products are even gaining popularity around the world. Guo said products like Shanxi mature vinegar and Shanxi health vinegar have been exported to countries such as the U.S., Germany and Japan.

Guo and his colleagues are now planning to make their bids to become Guinness World Record holders for building the biggest vinegar lake in the world. If they break the record, it will help to promote the park and attract tourists from all over the world.