The Original Meaning of Ponzu (Sauce)

As you know, ponzu is a sauce of Japanese origin made from citrus juice mixed with seasonings such as rice vinegar, soy sauce, and dashi.

Japanese people can guess the meaning of the word from the kanji (Chinese characters) used in it,

but ponzu is represented as “ポン酢” in the Japanese language, and I had no idea what the “ポン (pon)” part means.

So I looked it up on Wikipedia and got the answer, which I will share with you today.

The Origin of Ponzu and its Meaning 

Ponzu Meaning

The article says that the origin of the word “ponzu” is derived from “pons” in Dutch.

The pons (punch) cocktail was transmitted from the Netherlands to Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868),

and the citrus juice used in the beverage came to be called “ポンス (pons)” afterward.

For the “ス (s)” part of the word pons, the kanji “酢” meaning “vinegar” was applied, and “ポン酢” came to mean ponzu sauce in the end.  


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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