This vinegar has some wicked folklore and legends behind it. It’s said that because of this vinegar some stealing conniving dudes were able to take valuables from dying plague victims, and the dead, without getting sick themselves. There are recipes all over online and in books that tell you how to make it.
If you pay close attention there are as many ways to make it as there are variations to the legend.
Let’s start with the legends first. All the legends say there were 4 thieves and they were able to rob people and homes of sick or dead without getting sick themselves. Some stories say it was the plague in 1200, others say it was the plague in the 15th century, a few others say 16th-17th century. It’s always in Europe, some say France or Italy getting specific, there are even some legends that give village or town names. This went on for some time, some legends say various towns and villages were hit by these 4 until they were finally caught. Now it’s extremely important to understand how special this was. I’m sure some were calling these Four Thieves the Devil, the Devil’s minions, or maybe even angels.
During the plagues, doctors were dressed up in huge masks that had herbs stuffed in the noses so they couldn’t breathe in the illness, they wore huge leather coats and gloves so they couldn’t be touched by the illness. But some were getting sick and dying anyway. There was a special employed job, these city/town employees were to remove the dead from the streets and their homes and move them to a mass grave to burn the bodies. There’s some talk that not everyone burned was fully dead. These guys were getting sick and dying on the job, talk about on the job hazards.
The plague didn’t discriminate and if you got near enough it’d claim you too so having these four guys touching sick and dead bodies, going in quarantined houses repeatedly without getting sick. That was huge! They become the 4 Most Wanted, because what the fuck man!? How are you not dying?
Because we have recipes and legends of course they were caught. Again, the legends changed. Some say they were questioned, maybe even tortured until they gave up their secret. Others say they were told to give up the secret of their survival or go to jail. Another legend claims they were given the ultimatum of giving up the secret or be the guys that had to burn dead bodies, as this was a death sentence the Thieves would give up their secret. I’m calling bullshit on this one, because if they weren’t getting sick touching dead bodies to rob them, why would they get sick moving dead bodies to the burning pit?
So, all the stories come back to the Thieves giving up their secret.
Keep an eye out, in the next day or so I will be talking about the recipe and some variations. If you want to know the story I was given you can find it here.