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verjuice-msg – 11/24/13

 

Medieval verjuice. Modern sources and substitutions.

 

NOTE: See also these files: vinegar-msg, wine-msg, sauces-msg, murri-msg, garum-msg,  broths-msg, beer-in-food-msg, beer-msg, fruit-citrus-msg, cider-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: Uduido at aol.com

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 18:13:37 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: sca-cooks Re: [ck] introduction

 

<< Have any of you tried naturally fermented cider vinegar as verjuice?  Do

we have any sources that say regular apples were

always/occasionally/never used?  >>

 

I have made verjuice from crab apple juice for 3 yrs. now. Used in pork

recipes mundanely and in any recipe from period calling for it has always had

positive results. There is some disagreement on what it was exactly but the

crab apple and green grape people seem to be the logical winners. Green

grapes were not the kind you find in the supermarket but were rather

unripened grapes. The crab apples were the ones used in apple jelly. Hard to

find now a days but some old homesteads still have them. Ornamental

crabapples can be used to make a useable product.

 

Simply run them through a food processor or crush. Add water to cover. Place

a cheese cloth over them to keep out insects and ferment for 3-4 days. Strain

and squeeze juice from pulp. Can in mason jars or bottle in beer bottles and

cap.

 

Lord Ras the Reformer

 

 

From: "Philip W. Troy" <troy at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 19:53:29 -0400

Subject: Re: sca-cooks Re: [ck] introduction

 

Uduido at aol.com wrote:

> I have made verjuice from crab apple juice for 3 yrs. now. Used in pork

> recipes mundanely and in any recipe from period calling for it has always had

> positive results. There is some disagreement on what it was exactly but the

> crab apple and green grape people seem to be the logical winners. Green

> grapes were not the kind you find in the supermarket but were rather

> unripened grapes. The crab apples were the ones used in apple jelly. Hard to

> find now a days but some old homesteads still have them. Ornamental

> crabapples can be used to make a useable product.

>

> Simply run them through a food processor or crush. Add water to cover. Place

> a cheese cloth over them to keep out insects and ferment for 3-4 days. Strain

> and squeeze juice from pulp. Can in mason jars or bottle in beer bottles and

> cap.

>

> Lord Ras the Reformer

 

Recipe is in Gervase Markham's "The English Housewife". Made pretty much

like cider, but from crabapples.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 22:27:08 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Vinegar/verjuice

 

In a message dated 97-06-04 15:00:30 EDT, you write:

<< Can anyone provide me with documentation on the methods of making

vinegar or verjuice in period? >>

 

I just put crabapple juice in bottles and when it stops its spitty sputtery

thing I cap it.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

From: "Martin G. Diehl" <mdiehl at nac.net>

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 22:45:16 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Vinegar/verjuice

 

Sharon L. Harrett wrote:

>         Can anyone provide me with documentation on the methods of

> making vinegar or verjuice in period? I have many references to

> their use, but none on their manufacture.

>

> Ceridwen

 

Greetings to m'Lady Ceridwen,

 

One of my cookbooks "Renaissance Recipes (Painters and Food)" by

Gillian Riley, pub: Pomegranate Artbooks, ISBN: 1-56640-577-7 ,

96 pages, hbk.  gives some information on verjuice and several recipes

use it.

 

[Partial quote] Verjuice: in Italian cooking is, in its simplest

form, the juice of sour green grapes, used as a condiment or cooking

medium. It can be boiled and fermented, and used throughout the

year. The equivalent in English cookery ... sour gooseberries, plums,

or acidic herbs such as sorrel.  ...

 

The book suggests that bitter orange (found in the Spanish foods section

of a large supermarket) could be used as a substitute.  One

recipe that was given was Chicken with Verjuice, "Amorsa"

 

1 medium chicken, jointed

4 oz. pancetta

1 lb. sour green grapes, gooseberries, or unripe green plums

fresh mint and parsley, chopped

salt, freshly ground black pepper, saffron to taste

 

Fry the chicken joints and diced bacon in olive oil until golden and

half cooked.  Crush the grapes and strain through a sieve into a

casserole. Add the chicken; stir well to dissolve the brown bits and

simmer until tender.  Season with black pepper and saffron, check

salt (pancetta may provide enough).  Serve sprinkled with chopped

herbs.

 

Alas, although this lovely book does have a bibliography, specific

references are not given for each recipe.

 

I am,

Vinchenzio Martinus di Mazza,

- --

Martin G. Diehl

 

 

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 00:57:59 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Vinegar/verjuice

 

According to a (modern) persian cookbook of Jaella's that I was reading

while visiting D.C., verjuice is made from green grapes which are picked in

order to thin the bunches so that the remaining grapes will turn out

better. Unfortunately, it didn't describe the fermentation process. I

should check the (crabapple based) recipe in Robert May. One of the grape

vines I planted a year and a half ago has lots of bunches on it.

 

David/Cariadoc

 

 

From: Robin Hackett <robin.hackett at wadsworth.org>

Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 10:28:35 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - Vinegar/verjuice

 

Ceridwen,

Vincenzio wrote:

 

>One of my cookbooks "Renaissance Recipes (Painters and Food)" by

>Gillian Riley, pub: Pomegranate Artbooks, ISBN: 1-56640-577-7 ,

>96 pages, hbk.  gives some information on verjuice and several recipes

>use it.

>[Partial quote] Verjuice: in Italian cooking is, in its simplest

>form, the juice of sour green grapes, used as a condiment or cooking

>medium. It can be boiled and fermented, and used throughout the

>year. The equivalent in English cookery ... sour gooseberries, plums,

>or acidic herbs such as sorrel.  ...

 

This is the definition we used to make our own. Emerson has this grape vine

he won't let me chop down in the yard (he wants to make a trellis complete

with statuary, but thats another topic!:)) that produced all of two bunches

of grapes last year. So I got to experiment with them! We simmered the

unripe grapes (test by tasting...very tart!) with a little water to prevent

sticking or burning. Simmered long enough to burst the grapes. Then

strained them through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a bowl, overnight.

Don't press the grapes, you want the verjuice to be as clear as possible.

We used it fresh so didn't go to any lengths to ferment it.

 

Leri

robin.hackett at wadsworth.org

 

 

Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 19:02:18 +0000

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - extraneous misc.

 

And it came to pass on  4 Sep 97, that Marisa Herzog wrote:

 

>I wish I could find where I had seen bitter orange listed as

> a probable verjuice source

 

In various recipes in the _Libro de Guisado_ (Catalan/Spanish, 16th

century), orange juice is listed as an alternative to verjuice or

vinegar, and is used as the primary sauce ingredient in many of the

fish dishes.  Presumably this would be from sour/bitter oranges; I

believe that the sweet varieties are modern.

 

Barbara Santich, in _The Original Mediterranean Cuisine_, says, "The

standard accompaniments to fried fish were lemon juice (or the tart

orange juice of the time) or green sauce."  She comments elsewhere in

the book that vinegar and verjuice were interchangeable in many

recipes, and that lemon juice or the juice of bitter oranges were

other substitutes.

 

> -brid

 

Brighid ni Chiarain of Tethba

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 01:49:49 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: lutefisk! etc.

 

Uduido at aol.com wrote:

> << As a relative newcomer, I would LOVE to have this receipe! Verjus, please!

>        Esko >>

>

> Come on, A, you can do it. I know you can. Blueberry verjus recipe please. :-)

> Lord Ras (ROFL)

 

Heh heeeeehhhhh, ya dirty old...

 

Lessee now...if it's really blueberry verjuice you want, and not

vinegar, then I suppose you want about fifteen pounds of unripe, green

blueberries, or enough to give you around a gallon of pressed juice.

Strain into a wide-mouthed fermenting jar, and tie a clean piece of

muslin over the mouth. Leave this out in the open for a week or two,

then transfer to a one-gallon secondary fermenting jug with an airlock.

When no more bubbles form in the airlock, you can bottle the stuff in

sterile bottles, such as clamp-top Grolsch bottles. Let age in a dark

place for 3-6 months before using. This is your basic verjuice.

 

If you then want to add a more recognizable blueberry character to it,

add one quart of additional crushed ripe blueberries (skins and seeds,

too) to your secondary fermenter, and let it sit for 2-3 weeks. Strain

and bottle.

 

OR, you can make a thick, sweet, blueberry wine and let it turn into

vinegar, either naturally or by adding a vinegar "mother" or culture.

 

OR, you can make vinegar or verjuice, and infuse blueberries in it,

which is more or less where we started, isn't it?

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 19:27:04 EDT

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: SC - Substitute for verjuice

 

<< Using a mix of mostly orange juice and

some lemon juice is one substituion I have seen for verjuice.

>>

 

Verjuice is , IMHO, the juice extracted from crabapples or, more commonly,

unripe (green) grapes. After extraction it is allowed to undergo a natural

fermentation process and is then pottled or crocked. It really bears no

resemblance to citrus juices in flavor.

 

It would be my recommendation to not use the orande/lemon juice mixture as a

substitute for verjuice on the grounds that in the tasting process the

complexity of flavors produced by the citrus family is very much different

from that which is produced by either the pomes or the vinas.

 

OTOH, the complexity of flavor produced by the pomes and vinas for the most

part contain many characteristics that are common to each thus allowing for

the substitution of verjuice made from either crabapples or unripe grapes.

Using either of these verjuices in any given recipe would produce a product

that only a trained palatte could discern with difficulty. The average person

would most likely not notice any change in the taste.

 

The use of citrus as a verjuice substitute would, IMHO, produce a dish that is

so radically different in flavor with the end result being a dish

unrecognizable when compared to a dish using pome/vina derived

verjuice............

 

al-Sayyid Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 21:39:49 -0500

From: "Martin G. Diehl" <mdiehl at nac.net>

Subject: SC - Verjus in the Current Period

 

Greetings to those Noble Kitchen Toilers of the Laurel Kingdoms,

 

In other words: Hi

 

In today's New York Times (11/05/97) in the Dining In/Out

section on page F5, there appeared an article entitled "Verjus,

a Tart Splash for all Dishes"

 

Some citations from the article [no, they did not quote any

primary sources <G>]:

 

        "Navarro Vineyards, in Mendocino County, CA, began making

        verjus at the request of the Booneville Hotel in Mendocino.

        'I have a doctorate in medieval history, so I knew what it

        was,' said Deborah Cahn, who owns the winery with her

        husband Ted Bennett.  Verjus is often listed in recipes

        from the Middle Ages."

 

        "Verjus is a natural byproduct of winemaking and has

        undoubtedly been made as long as wine has been made.

        To strengthen grape vines and allow them to produce

        full flavored fruit, winemakers often thin the vines

        when the grapes are just beginning to ripen.  When

        this early crop of unripe grapes is pressed, verjus

        is the result"

 

        Verjus can be ordered from the producers at about $10

        per bottle.

 

        Fusion foods

        Rutherford, CA

        800-297-0686

 

        Navarro Vineyards and Winery

        Philo, CA

        800-537-9463

 

        Sagapon Vineyards

        Sagaponack, NY

        516-537-5106

 

They are making white, red and chardonay verjus

 

I will try to find out if the entire article is online.

 

I am,

Vinchenzio Martinus di Mazza,

In Service to the Dream

- --

Martin G. Diehl

 

 

Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 15:23:28 -0800

From: "Crystal A. Isaac" <crystal at pdr-is.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice sources-please

 

You can also get verjuice from Navarro Vineyards in Navato, CA, and

Bonny Doone in Santa Cruz, CA.

 

Crystal

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 09:29:26 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: SC - The Making of Verjuice

 

A few people have written to me privately asking for the "recipe" for Making

Verjuice.

 

I can but offer 11 years of trial and error as the source of info.  SFAIK,

there is no know source of information which gives those of us living in the

Current Middle Ages any indication of methods for home production of verjuice

that may have been known to the noncommercial producer of verjuice during the

Middle Ages.

 

If I may be so bold as to offer a personal opinion, as opposed to an opinion

based on focused research, I do not see home production of Verjuice any more

practiced by your average nobleman's household during times of peace and

prosperity than the percentage indicated by the number of people that produce

their own Ketchup in the Current Middle.  From everything that I can recall

reading, in any number of unrelated disciplines, I am of the opinion that

verjuice was a commercially produced product throughout the Middle Ages.  As

such it was most certainly purchased pre-made at the market.

 

Given the above, this is how I make verjuice based on experimentation rather

than period references.

 

Verjuice- Another Way

 

1 bushel unripened grapes (crabapples make be substituted if unripened grapes

are unavailable)

 

3 (36 inch by 36 inch) pieces of cheese cloth

1 large non-reactive container (a canning kettle or a Tupperware or Rubbermaid

tub)

 

If you have access to a press, press the juice form the fruit or you can chop

the fruit in batches in a food processor, which is what I do.  Line the

container with the cheese cloth and dump your pulp in as you make it.  Pull

the sides of the cheesecloth together and tie firmly.  Lift the pulp package

above the tub with a rope and leave to drip over night.  (I hang it from a

broom handle between 2 chairs.)  Squeexe any remaining juice from pulp.  Cover

with clear plastic wrap or a cloth and leave sit for 48 hours in a relatively

cool place.  Skim top if necessary or strain through more cheesecloth to

remove additional sediment.  Sterilize pint or quart jars and lids.  Fill jars

and seal.  Place in a boiling water bath for 90 minutes being careful to keep

your water level above the jar tops by adding boiling water as necessary.  Or,

place jars in a pressure canner and process at 10 lbs. pressure for 30

minutes. Remove from water unto a towel.  Cover with a cloth and cool.  Use

as needed when verjuice is called for.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 11:09:42 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - The Making of Verjuice

 

At 9:29 AM -0500 3/5/98, LrdRas wrote:

>A few people have written to me privately asking for the "recipe" for Making

>Verjuice.

>I can but offer 11 years of trial and error as the source of info.  SFAIK,

>there is no know source of information which gives those of us living in the

>Current Middle Ages any indication of methods for home production of verjuice

>that may have been known to the noncommercial producer of verjuice during the

>Middle Ages.

 

Robert May has a (17th c.) recipe for making verjuice from crab apples;

that's the nearest thing I have found.

 

David/Cariadoc

 

 

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 02:40:19 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - The Making of Verjuice

 

> Robert May has a (17th c.) recipe for making verjuice from crab apples;

> that's the nearest thing I have found.

> David/Cariadoc

 

Somewhat earlier, and arguably period, is Gervase Markham's "The English

Housewife", published in 1615, but the subject of lawsuits accusing

Markham of plagiarizing his own older works. I doubt the method changed

much over time, and suspect the biggest changes in the process as

described were more a function of geography, since they were using

crabapples instead of grapes.

 

Period recipe or not, it's pretty clear that medieval cooks were using

something called verjus, and it is fairly reasonable to think it might

be a similar product to what is described in later recipes.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 18:58:27 EST

From: LrdRas <LrdRas at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - The Making of Verjuice

 

In a message dated 3/6/98 12:20:18 AM Eastern Standard Time, ladymari at gila.net writes:

 

<< So you mean it's just SOUR GRAPES?? >>

 

Basically, yes. :-) But crabapples were also used (which , IMHO, yields a far

tastier product.) Also, keep in mind that the sour grapes were also fermented

for a couple of days. Since the sugar content is very low , it doesn't take

much time to complete the process. Surprisingly, the use of verjuice in

assorted receipts calling for it's inclusion is so good that I use it

regularly in mundane (e.g. modern) cookery right along with my cubebs. :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 16:57:34 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: SC - Re: Galingale and verjuice.

 

Verjiuce is a fabulous ingredient which has made its way into my mundane

cooking in a big way. It is now produced commercially here in 750 ml and 375

ml bottles which ship just fine. The taste is fresh and much lighter than

vinegar, neither sweet nor as bitter as Seville oranges which are sometimes

recommended as a substitute. It is wonderful to deglaze a pan with after

sauteing chicken or fish as well as in medieval recipies.

 

Rowan

- -----------------------------------------------------------------

Robyn Probert

Customer Service Manager                Phone +61 2 9239 4999

Services Development Manager            Fax   +61 2 9221 8671

Lawpoint Pty Limited                    Sydney NSW  Australia

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 06:32:42 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Galingale and verjuice.

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie

Rowan says:

> Verjiuce is a fabulous ingredient which has made its way into my mundane

> cooking in a big way. It is now produced commercially here in 750 ml and 375

> ml bottles which ship just fine. The taste is fresh and much lighter than

> vinegar, neither sweet nor as bitter as Seville oranges which are sometimes

> recommended as a substitute. It is wonderful to deglaze a pan with after

> sauteing chicken or fish as well as in medieval recipies. If anyone is

> interested, I'd be happy to investigate shipping.

 

Its actually availalbe here in the states as well...you can get it in

Seattle at De Laurenties in the Market (a big Italian import food store) or

at Larry's Market (a very upscale grocery store). Fortunately for the rest

of the country, you can mail order from Dean and Delucca as well. I believe

they even have a website.

 

I concur that the stuff is fun...though I find that it molds very quickly

after opening (not acidic enoucgh, I guess) even when stored in the fridge.

 

I keep meaning to do some taste testing, combining lemon juice and

different vinegars in an attempt to duplicate the distinctive acerbic and

slightly sour flavor.

 

- --AM

 

 

Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 14:57:02 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Galingale and verjuice.

 

Anne-Marie responded to my post on Verjiuce, saying:

>I concur that the stuff is fun...though I find that it molds very quickly

>after opening (not acidic enoucgh, I guess) even when stored in the fridge.

 

You certainly have to fridge it. I find it stays OK for about 2 months - a

vacuum seal helps a lot! The stuff we get is produced by Maggie Beer. Are

you getting this imported from Australia or is there a producer in the US?

 

>I keep meaning to do some taste testing, combining lemon juice and

>different vinegars in an attempt to duplicate the distinctive acerbic and

>slightly sour flavor.

 

Hmm - I've tried a combination of dry white wine and champagne vinegar or

sherry vinegar which seem to be pretty close.

 

Rowan

- -----------------------------------------------------------------

Robyn Probert

Customer Service Manager                Phone +61 2 9239 4999

Services Development Manager            Fax   +61 2 9221 8671

Lawpoint Pty Limited                    Sydney NSW  Australia

 

 

From: DDFr at best.com (David Friedman)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Verjuice

Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 23:50:46 -0700

Organization: Santa Clara University

 

"Karl A Haefner" <RENAISSANCE-COOK at prodigy.net> wrote:

>Question from a novice cook--

 

> In two references, I've found that verjuice is a vinegar made from crab

> apples.

 

That is not a very accurate description. Verjuice is a term for a variety

of different sour liquids used in cooking. The most common seems to be the

juice of unripe grapes. There is a green verjuice made from sorrel. The

one reference I know of to making it from crabapples is in Robert May,

_The Accomplisht Cook_, which is from the second half of the 17th century.

He gives directions, but I don't remember them clearly enough, or know

enough about the making of vinegar, to say how close the processes are.

 

In any case, the medieval sources consistently distinguish between

verjuice and vinegar.

 

David/Cariadoc

--

David Friedman

DDFr at Best.com

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 11:26:15 -0500 (CDT)

From: jeffrey stewart heilveil <heilveil at students.uiuc.edu>

Subject: SC - verjuice

 

I have this calendar called "forgotten english" by Jeffrey Kacirck, and it

has an entry on verjuice that I found interesting.  Unfortunately, the

calendar doesn't come with documentation but...

 

"Tart medieval conconction made from an add assortment of ingredients.

The name derives from French Vert Jus, "green juice."  Used in cooking or

as medicine in the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, it was said to

contain such acidic fruit juices as sour apple, grape and carb apple,

often fermented.  Other sources say that crab juice and pork broth could

be included.  Whatever its composition, when muxed with wine, lye and

fuller's earth, verjuice was also a component of a cleaning solution for

furs and woolens."

 

comments? Especially on the crab juice and the cleaning solution?

 

Bogdan

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 14:34:30 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - verjuice

 

jeffrey stewart heilveil wrote:

> I have this calendar called "forgotten english" by Jeffrey Kacirck, and it

> has an entry on verjuice that I found interesting.  Unfortunately, the

> calendar doesn't come with documentation but...

> "Tart medieval conconction made from an add assortment of ingredients.

> The name derives from French Vert Jus, "green juice."  Used in cooking or

> as medicine in the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, it was said to

> contain such acidic fruit juices as sour apple, grape and carb apple,

> often fermented.  Other sources say that crab juice and pork broth could

> be included.  Whatever its composition, when muxed with wine, lye and

> fuller's earth, verjuice was also a component of a cleaning solution for

> furs and woolens."

> comments?  Especially on the crab juice and the cleaning solution?

 

"Crab" is frequently found in late- or early-post-period sources as a

reference to small, tart, apples: crabapples. Markham gives a recipe for

verjuice made exclusively from crabapples. I have no idea whether pork

broth was ever used in any connection with verjuice (I strongly suspect

not), but I'm pretty certain no crustaceans were ever involved.

 

As for the cleaning solution, I can only say that I understand that

vinegar and sand were used to clean rusty mail armor, so why not

verjuice? On the other hand, a combination of wine, a fairly

dilute acid, which, combined with lye, a pretty powerful base, could

make the inclusion of weak acid pointless. I don't know how fuller's

earth affects this cocktail.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 16:12:35 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: SC - Verjuice, thyme, and hyssop (was: Spice cabinet...)

 

Adamantius wrote, commenting on someone else's post:

>Your theory about the role of sorrel verjuice is pretty interesting.

>Remember the quote from Taillevent I posted, in which he says you'll

>need green wheat in winter? Green wheat is another of the items from

>which verjuice could be made. I wonder if grapes supplied verjuice for

>late summer through the beginning of winter, green wheat in winter and

>early spring, and sorrel in the spring and early summer...

 

from Menagier de Paris:

"SORREL VERJUICE. Grind the sorrel very fine without the twigs, and soak in

old, white verjuice, and do not strain the sorrel, but let it be finely

ground; or thus: grind parsley and sorrel or wheat-leaves. Item vine buds,

that is those that are young and tender, without any sticks."

 

So he is making sorrel verjuice from sorrel and verjuice, with variants

using parsley or wheat leaves (and maybe vine buds) along with the sorrel.

And later: "Note, that in July the old verjuice is too weak and the new

verjuice is too green: and for this reason, at grape-harvest, verjuice

which is mixed half old and half new is best. " Evidently he is expecting

his grape verjuice to last the year round.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 14:19:35 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

Deanna.Knott at GSC.GTE.Com writes:

<< Just how unripe do they have to be?  >>

 

Although I make my verjuice with crab apples (nicer flavor, IMO), you will

want to pick the grapes when they have enlarged but are not showing signs of

ripening. If there is any hint of sweetness the grapes are far to gone for the

making of verjuice. "Green' is lack of ripeness not the color of a ripe grape.

 

BTW, if the grapes that you have access to are the Lambrusco (read Welch's and

supermarket grape juice) you will have 'foxy' flavors develope in your

verjuice which are the flavors most often thought of as 'grape" by the vast

majority of Americans. Verjuice can be made from unripe grapes of this variety

but it will have little or no resemblance to the flavor of verjuice made with

Old World grapes other than the sourness.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 14:35:11 -0600

From: mfgunter at fnc.fujitsu.com (Michael F. Gunter)

Subject: Re: SC - Sources for Verjuice

 

> Dean & Deluca, they have a website but i cannot remember the URL offhand.

> margali

 

I just visited their website:

http://www.dean-deluca.com/

 

One word: Wow.

 

A REALLY groovy website.

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 22:44:08 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

Helen wrote:

> What is more period?  The red or the white??

 

I figure the white would be more consistent with the idea that the stuff

is made from the juice of green grapes. Vert (i.e. green) juice being a

pale yellow is probably more believable from a linguistic perspective

than red verjuice.

 

Adamantius

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 11:11:54 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

Devra at aol.com wrote:

> Yes, I see your reasoning about the color of the verjuice, but if you grew red

> grapes (or purple, too, I'd guess) wouldn't you use what you had?  And doesn't

> the word "green" also refer to unripe or young--as in a green cheese, or a

> green goose?

 

Sure, you'd use what you had, and one could certainly make and support

the argument you've raised. On the other hand, unripe grapes that

haven't yet come into their full sweetness also often haven't quite come

into their full color. Also, verjuice was made from substances other

than grapes, such as crabapples, unripe grain, and sorrel mixed into any

of the other standard juices mentioned above, which would argue that at

least some verjuice was pale yellow, if not the vast majority. Also yet

again, since most red wine is made by steeping the juice pressed from

red or purple grapes with the pulp and the skins, rather than straining

it off immediately, which would, I believe, result in a wine only

slightly pink in color, if not an out-and-out white wine. It's my

understanding that you have to make red wine red by conscious decision;

it doesn't just come that way by default. This may be a modern

distinction, though. I don't know much about period vintning.

 

While none of this discounts the possibility that the "ver" in verjuice

refers to age rather than color, I'd consider the color-based theory at

least as valid, if not more so by sheer bulk of circumstantial evidence.

However, since I'm extremely hesitant to adopt a "One, True" view of

anything (exceptions being pizza and chowder ;  )   ), I think that

while red or pink verjuices probably were made in various times and

places, pale yellow "white wine" verjuice is probably a more typical

product through SCA period.

 

Adamantius, looking for that Critical Thinking textbook

Østgardr, East

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 22:40:25 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

At 12:17 AM -0400 7/8/99, LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

>swbro at mail.telis.org writes:

><< As the season for green grapes approaches, I would like to ask if anyone

>has a receipe for verjuice?  >>

>I just squeeze out the juice. Cover it with 2 layers of muslim and let it sit

>til the bubbles go away and bottle it. However, I do not use green grapes

>which are preferrable. I use crabapple juice or the juice of unripe apples.

 

Robert May has a recipe for making verjuice from crabapples. It's the

nearest thing to a period recipe I know of for verjuice.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 06:51:22 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

hi all from Anne-Marie

 

Gunther sez to voldai re: verjuice...At 08:31 AM 7/8/99 -0500, Michael F.

Gunter wrote:

>> for my upcomming feast at steppes artisan ansteorra) i'm

>> using 2parts apple cider vinegar to one part apple cider.  yes i know, it's

>> the easy way out.  if it were for a display/competition piece/dish i'd make

>> it from scratch.

>> 

>> voldai

>Although this is good advice for someone who has no access to verjuice, if

>you live in the Dallas area there is a very easy source of verjuice. I picked

>up a half gallon of "Sour Grape Juice" at World Foods on lower Greenville.

>Also there are a ton of Middle Eastern and Oriental markets in town that

>provides this. It's probably cheaper than the vinegar/cider mix you are

>making now.

>Why make substitutions when you have access to the real thing?

 

there are now TWO (2!!!!!) commercial sources for verjuice that I know of.

 

One is from Napa's Fusion Foods, PO Box 542, Rutherford California 94573,

at about $12 for a 750 ml bottle. DeLaurentis in Seattle carries it, as

well as Dean and DeLucca (the mail order yuppie food folks). They ahve it

in white and red.

 

we found a new kind on our 15th century re-enactment adventure. On the way

home, we stopped at Navarro Winery. They have verjuice! (also great grape

juice made from wine grapes. Yum!). They do mailorder, Navarro Vineyards,

5601 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466. Phone 1-800-537-9463.

 

Navarros verjuice is not as ascerbic as Fusion Foods, and is quite tasty

and palatable on its own, I thought. As well as being WAY cheaper at about

$8 for a 750 ml bottle! we ordered a case...:)

 

- --Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 10:52:13 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

swbro at mail.telis.org writes:

<< As the season for green grapes approaches, I would like to ask if anyone

has a receipe for verjuice?  >>

 

There's this from Le Menagier de Paris (c. 1393):

 

"If you would have Verjuice at Christmas from your vine Arbor, when you see

the grape opening before it is in  flower, cut it off by the stem and the

third time let it grow till Christmas.  Master Jehan de Hautecourt says

that one ought to cut the stock below the grape and the other shoot beneath

will put out new grapes."  (The Goodman of Paris, tr. by E. Power, p. 300)

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 22:57:31 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

hey all from Anne-Marie...

 

At 09:18 AM 7/8/99 -0500, Michael F. Gunter wrote:

>> there are now TWO (2!!!!!) commercial sources for verjuice that I know of.

>Okay, so you say that Sour Grape Juice is not verjuice. But from what I've

>seen all you have to do is leave the Sour Juice out for a bit. Now I do admit

>there are wineries that are producing what they call verjuice and it may even

>be real authentic verjuice at very high prices but I don't understand why you

>say that Middle-Eastern Sour Grape Juice is not verjuice? From what I've

>read, verjuice is made by crushing underripe grapes and draining off the

juice.

 

hmm. I guess it does look like I was naysaying your source. Sorry! that

wasnt my intention at all! The emphasis was on the fact that I know of two

winery type sources, instead of the singular (and VERY expensive) one I

knew about before last week. You know how I get with new information...:)

 

ahem. What I MEANT to say was that IN ADDITION to the middle eastern stuff,

there's TWO other sources.

Is that better? :)

 

>The Sour Grape Juice I found was something like $4 for a half gallon. If this

>isn't verjuice it is certainly better than mixing vinegar and cider.

 

No arguement there.

 

>So, is verjuice simply crushed grapes or is there more to it? But as for now

>I'll stick to the Middle-Eastern stuff.

 

In a side by side taste test, they taste fairly similar, though I find that

the middle eastern stuff is much thicker, perhaps due to the type of grape

and percent water used? The Fusion and Navarro brands are more wine like in

mouth feel, thought they all have that ascerbic sour taste. yum!

 

also, I can actually find the Fusion stuff easier than I can the Middle

Eastern stuff (the Italian grocer carries Fusion, but my middle eastern

market doesnt carry grape juice. Pomegranite molasses and rosewater and

decorticated fava beans they got, but no sour grape juice). Go figure!

 

again, I apologise if it seemed I was poo pooing Gunthars source for

verjuice, that was not my intent. To each his/her own!

- --AM, who would like to make verjuice someday, just as an academic exercise...

 

 

Date: Fri, 09 Jul 1999 07:50:22 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice Recipe

 

Hi all from Anne-Marie

 

Rachel asks re: verjuice

>Does anyone have any historical information on this drink either?

 

as far as I know there's no documentation for the use of verjuice as a

beverage, only as an ingredient, (or condiment :)) like vinegar, where it

is often listed as an alternative ...

 

- --AM, who wouldnt MIND drinking the stuff, but she also drinks vinegar with

glee :)

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 16:10:32 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Cadoc asks about Verjuice

 

macdairi at hotmail.com writes:

<< Verjuice, this is sour-apple cider, correct, or is this one of the period

>mysteries? >>

 

Verjus

The literal translation from French is “green” juice (green as in unripe)but

I'm not a early French translator, maybe someone can verify or debunk that

one. Verjuice was a sour liquid produced by releasing the juice of unripe

fruit.(Le Viander de Taillevant)  The juice was made from unripe grapes (as

evidenced from the mention of verjus en grain- verjus grapes in recipes in

“Le Viander” and “Ancient Cookery”), crabapples(as mentioned in a collumn

note in a 1575 edition of an English manuscript “Warner”) , sorrel and

possibly any unripe fruit in season according to James Prescott, the

translator of  “Le Viander”.The use of verjuice abounds in medieval

manuscripts, it seems that one cannot open a 13th to 16th century cookery

book without finding its mention in the first page. All the same, it is

difficult to find an actual recipe AFAIK. It appears that the cooks of the

middle ages simply assumed that all households would prepare its own and did

not need a recipe for something so basic or that the item would be purchased

from a vendor as a staple.

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 18:41:45 -0800

From: Rose <rose at santiagosmagic.com>

Subject: Re: SC - oyster pie - Where to buy Verjus

 

I've used Napa Valley Fusion verjus for a while.  Here are a couple of sites

that carry it:

 

http://markusinternational.com/fusion_napa_valley_verjus.html

 

http://www.p4online.com/p4online/oilsvinegars.html

 

http://www.demedici.com/Products/Additional%20Products.htm

 

I've gotten it before from Dean & DeLuca, but I'm having trouble with their

website at the moment.  There's red verjus and white verjus.  I won't swear to

their being made from the proper period variety of grape -- I seem to recall

their white verjus is made from the chardonnay grapes -- but it's the only

verjus I've found to date.

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 00:35:37 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Verjus (was Re[2]: SC - Religious dietary restrictions)

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain wrote:

>Now, if I could only find a local source of real verjuice...

 

Our local branch of Whole Foods has it. I know, you're in NJ and i'm

in CA, but they do mail order.

 

If you have web access, so can you.

http://www.wholefoods.com

 

Fusion Napa Valley Verjus

Ingredients: grape juice, sulfur dioxide to prevent natural fermentation

Fusion Foods, P.O. Box 542, Rutherford CA 94573

 

I haven't used it yet, so i can't tell you how it tastes. Has anyone

used this brand?

 

Anahita al-shazhiyya

 

 

Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 15:49:19 -0500

From: grizly at mindspring.com

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Re: Verjus

 

I have both red and White Napa Valley verjus as well as the Navarro.

 

I find that the Navarro has the 'cleanest' flaver, for lack of a better term.  It is brighter and a little more distictive (that is the 1997 vintage).  The Nappa Fusion White is very tart and bitter (yea!) but lacks  a certain something that the Navarro seems to have; maybe it is more of the grape character.

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 19:48:14 -0600

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - RE: SC Verjus

 

Micaylah writes:

>>>And then of course you can make your own. I buy unripened grapes in

August/Sept. (just before they start to ripen), make it and then

freeze it it icecube trays for the upcoming year. Seems to work so

far.<<<

 

Gillian Riley (RENAISSANCE RECIPES) in her glossary states that

the English (not big grape growers) used the juice of green plums and

gooseberries instead.  She also states that this is still done in

traditional Turkish cookery.  Does his Grace, Duke Cariadoc have any data on this practice? I had a whole tree of big green plums a couple of years ago and

it seemed to make an adequately sour/tart result.  Of course, I needed a

couple of GALLONS of it as I was using it to baste grilled beef on an open

grille for 350 feasters.

 

Ms. Riley also lists a recipe for "Chicken with Verjuice "Amorosa"' by

Platina from the household of Poggio Bracciolini of Mantua.  Green plum

verjuice is also called for in her redaction.  Is this documentable

from the original text?  My Latin and Italian is lousy.

 

Akim Yaroslavich

 

 

Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 21:16:45 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - RE: SC Verjus

 

RANDALL DIAMOND wrote:

> Micaylah writes:

> >>>And then of course you can make your own. I buy unripened grapes in

> August/Sept. (just before they start to ripen), make it and then

> freeze it it icecube trays for the upcoming year. Seems to work so

> far.<<<

>

> Gillian Riley (RENAISSANCE RECIPES) in her glossary states that

> the English (not big grape growers) used the juice of green plums and

> gooseberries instead.  

 

There's a pretty straightforward recipe in Markham's "The English

Hus-Wife" (1615 C.E.) which calls for it to be made from crabapples.

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 08:38:41 EST

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: crab apple verjuis

 

<< There's a pretty straightforward recipe in Markham's "The English

Hus-Wife" (1615 C.E.) which calls for it to be made from crabapples.

  

Adamantius  >>

 

A few years ago, I made verjuis from crab apples. I took a quart basket, put

a quart of water on the stove, crushed the crabs and simmered them for about

1 hour. In retrospect, if I had a juicer, I wouldn't have added the water. I

think that maybe by the final boil, alot of the water would have evaporated,

but then I'll bet there were some characteristically different aspects to raw

squeezed vs cooked (like sugar content and possibly co-agulated starches) I

then strained the mash and squeezed out as much as I could. Using a fine

seive I tried to remove as much of the apple as possible (there still ended

up some in the bottom of the resulting jars)I then used sterilized jars,

brought the juice to a boil and canned the stuff. The product was a light

yellow, clear, but with a sediment on the bottom. It was just last month that

I tossed the final jar, the seal had never popped, but it was 3 years since I

canned it. I chose not to temp fate.

 

The result was tart, yet a hint of sweet. I used it in some 14th C French

recipes, as I had no way of getting unripe grapes at the time. Worked for me.

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 17:19:18 -0000

From: Christina Nevin <cnevin at caci.co.uk>

Subject: SC - Book Review   WAS  Verjus

 

Magdalena asked:

> Gillian Riley (RENAISSANCE RECIPES) in her glossary states that

> the English (not big grape growers) used the juice of green plums and

> gooseberries instead.

 

I've seen recipes for crab apples, but not green plums.  Does she

document her sources?

 

Not at all. Here is my review of her book - YMMV:

 

"RILEY, Gillian. Renaissance Recipes

Pomegranate Artbooks. 1993.

An amusing enough coffee table book. It talks about renaissance cooking and

customs, has redactions, and mentions original sources, but has the

irritating flaw of giving no solid references outside the bibliography.

Nonetheless, it is a nice book to have for the pictures of food and feasts -

useful for tabledressing and selection of feastgear. It also is the first

place I've found that mentions zabaglione as being in period, for which I am

happy to forgive it much!

Recommended as a picture book only or an on-sale buy."

 

Lucretzia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Lady Lucrezia-Isabella di Freccia   |  mka Tina Nevin

Thamesreach Shire, The Isles, Drachenwald | London, UK

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 12:24:09 -0600

From: Magdalena <magdlena at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: SC - RE: SC Verjus

 

Philip & Susan Troy wrote:

> LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> > The title of this recipe seems to be a misnomer. Although it says Chicken in

> > Verjuice, the recipe clearly indicates that verjuice grapes are seeded,

> > mashed and added to the chicken. This would result in a very different dish

> > (albeit it tasty) than the addition of verjuice.

> Perhaps it is a translation error. The title in Latin is something like

> "pullam in acrestum", and while acrestum does generally refer to

> verjuice, and even still does today (agresto), it doesn't specifically

> refer to "green juice" as the English or French ver jus does.

 

Pullus in Acresta

 

Platina

2.26 On Verjuice  {De Acore}

 

What they commonly call acresta, I would call omphacium, on the authority of Pliny, and acor [verjuice], on the authority of Macrobius, for omphax, as I have said, means a still-bitter grape; therefore, I would rather call oil from an unripe berry omphacium than acresta, which I do not quite see as being from omphax. [Macrobius] thus defines verjuice: vinegar is sharper than verjuice, whose force it is agreed is greater than acresta, which soothes the burning stomach more mildly and does not emaciate or weaken the body as vinegar is apt to do.(1)  Verjuice is wonderfully good for an unsettled or upset stomach or thirsty liver, if you use it raw, for it is less helpful cooked.  We use it easily and healthfully against poison and in seasoning foods.

 

1. Acorem vero ita exprimit: acetum acerbius acore est, cuius vim acresta

vehementiorem esse constat, quae temperatus stomachi compescat ardores, nec ita

corpus emaciat et dissolvat ut acetum solet.

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 18:48:47 -0600

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - RE:SC Verjus

 

Magdalena comments:

>>> Gillian Riley (RENAISSANCE RECIPES) in her glossary states that

> the English (not big grape growers) used the juice of green plums and

> gooseberries instead.<<<

 

>I've seen recipes for crab apples, but not green plums.  Does she document

her sources?<

 

Nope. Pretty much just lists a bibliography which looks a little thin.  She

seems to rely on translations and other modern publications more than original ms.

 

Akim

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 23:39:21 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: crabapple verjus

 

ChannonM at aol.com wrote:

> << I also use crab apples for the making of verjuis. I do however, put the

> juice

> in a carboy and let it ferment until it stops, then can it in a pressure

> canner for 10 minutes  at  10 LB pressure.  >>

>

> That's a good idea.

> Do you think that this was a period method? I hadn't thought about the stuff

> being alcoholic at all, or would that not be a result of letting it ferment

> then pressure canning it?

> I had the impression ( and I emphasize the word impression, I have no hard

> facts only observation) that the preserving quality would have been the acid

> or sugar content. I have only seen references to the composition of verjus in

> a few manuscripts ie Le Viander, mentions "verjus grapes" but never a

> direction to ferment the product.

>

> Please add your thoughts on this.

 

Markham suggests an open fermentation, IIRC, before sealing in kegs. It

may be that the idea is that any available sugars (of which there are

probably few) ferment into alcohol, which may in turn go sour as either

acetic or lactic acid, but the original product has little enough

fermentable sugar, and enough acid in it already, that there's no real

risk of producing an alcoholic product. At least to no significant extent.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 12:48:58 -0500

From: "Micaylah" <dy018 at freenet.carleton.ca>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Verjus

 

> Interesting. Where do you find the unripened grapes to buy? At your

> grocery? I really wouldn't expect there to be much demand for unripen

> grapes mundanely, so I wouldn't expect them to be available. Unknowing

> customers who buy such expecting eating grapes would probably not be

> happy and take it out on the store.

 

The best place I have found to purchase these grapes Stef, is through a

grape importer. I am not too sure if you can get these at the typical local

"brew your own" type businesses but more at a real grape importer. I live in

a city of only 1 million or so souls - 3rd largest city in Cda I believe)

and we have several here. These would be the "real mccoy" kind of dealer and

unless I am mistaken can *usually* be found in the Italian commercial area's

of your city.

 

As well, I have friends that grow grapes and are not adverse to "hacking

off" a couple of pounds for me before they ripen. This, though, will only

produce a little. If you want quantity go to the dealers.

 

You need to ask them reeeeaaallllly nicely if they could sell you these the

minute they come in. After they stop giving you the "should I call the

rubberroom people" look you just might want to explain why you want them. I

played with the truth a little saying that I was making a medieval Italian

vinegar and have been puirchasing from them for 2 years now. It also helped

that I buy my grapes from them to make wine as well..

 

> How do you process the grapes into verjuice? Any particular type of

> grapes?

 

I have a reciept somewhere (actually I think I got it from your

flori-thingy) and if done properly (my first batch only produced a home for

some amazing fruit fly collections) but I was okay from that point on. I

will post it as soon as I can get my ass to the kitchen and find it.

 

Caylee

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 13:46:21 EST

From: Mordonna22 at aol.com

Subject: SC - Crabapples vs. apples

 

Have yet to find documentation on the kinds of sugars found in crabapples, but

I have found that crabapples are as good a source as any other apple variety

for malic acid, which is necessary for malo-lactic fermentation.  Malo-lactic

fermentation is a third fermentation, which _may_ occur after a wine has been

bottled and put aside for over a year to age.  It is only possible in the

presence of malic acid, and bacillus gracile bacteria.  Malo-lactic

fermentation converts malic acid into lactic acid, which process improves the

wine and gives it a cleaner, fresher taste.

 

Mordonna the Cook,

SunDragon's Western Reaches

Atenveldt

(m.k.a. Buckeye, AZ)

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 14:16:17 EST

From: allilyn at juno.com

Subject: SC - Re:  verjus storage

 

Cato speaks of storing it in amphorae--(earthen vessels sealed with

pitch)--and tossing them in the fish pond for a month in order to keep

the grape juice good.  That would soak the vessel--like a Romer

cooker--and help keep it from drying out.

 

I thought that the high acid content would do just fine by itself.  It's

so unripe that there's not really enough sugar to ferment.  Storing in a

stone-lined undercroft or cellar should have kept it cool enough to just

sit there, like pickles in pickling fluids.  Many basements are about

40*, like modern refrigerators.  My pickles sit in frig corners year

'round, and when I was little, the 'keeping closet', off the back porch,

held huge glass pots of sauerkraut until spring warmth came along.

 

The Menagier speaks of 'diluted' verjus by summer, so if water was added

to thin the juice tor make it go further, it would stop the fermentation.

It seems to me that fermented verjus would simply be a very sour wine.

Scully says that verjuice had not fermented 'to any great extent' and was

subject to spoilage.  So, apparently, some verjus was fresh--especially

some of the fakes, i.e., sorrell ground in water.  

 

Does the fermentation and canning change the taste?  If not, it may be a

good way to preserve since most of us don't run to stone undercrofts in

our homes.

 

Allison,     allilyn at juno.com

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 01:05:36 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - verjus

 

<< 'Platina

6.16  Chicken in Verjuice (...)'

The title of this recipe seems to be a misnomer. ... >>

 

The English title seems to be somewhat misleading, yes.

 

<< Or Chicken with Green Grapes. >>

 

Yes. Go ahead!

 

Anyway: I do not think the original titles are misnomers. Platina has

Latin "Pullus in acresta", Martino's parallel recipe has Italian "Per

fare pollastri allessi con agresto". Within the recipe Martino says

"togli agresto sano, et taglialo per mezo...". That indicates that the

Italian word "agresto" was not only used for the fluid made from unripe

grapes, but for the unripe grapes too.

 

The two uses of Italian "agresto" or "agresta" for the unripe grapes and

for verjuice are also observed in an article of Jaqueline Brunet and

Odile Redon on "Vins, jus et verjus" [Wines, juices and verjuice in

Italian cookbooks of the 14th and 15th centuries]. They say:

 

"... il [=le mot _agresto_, ou _agresta_] dÈsigne ‡ la fois un raisin

qui n'est pas arrivÈ ‡ une maturation complËte et le jus que l'on

extrait de ce raisin" (p.112).

Roughly: 'The word _agresto_/_agresta_ refers both to grapes that have

not yet reached complete maturity and to the verjuice that is made from

these grapes'.

 

On the Latin use of _acresta_ see Platina himself (Milham 2.26). It

seems that he was not happy about the fact that _acresta_ refers both to

the grapes and the verjuice...

 

Thus, it seems, that there was no problem to call a recipe like 6.16

"Pullus in acresta" or "pollastri allessi con agresto".

 

Semantics again <sigh>, but I feared that someone might see Platina and

Martino as benighted persons who did not know their own language... ;-)

 

Best,

Thomas

- -- Jaqueline Brunet/Odile Redon: Vins, jus et verjus. Du bon usage

culinaire des jus de raisins en Italie ‡ la fin du Moyen Age". In: Le

vin des historiens. Actes du 1er Symposium Vin et Histoire 1989, sous la

Direction Scientifique de Gilbert Garrier. Suze-la-Rousse, UniversitÈ du

Vin, 1990, 109-117.

 

 

Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 02:56:20 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Re:  verjus storage

 

allilyn at juno.com writes:

<< Scully says that verjuice had not fermented 'to any great extent' and was

subject to spoilage. >>

 

In my experience, I agree with Scully, any apparent fermentation is very slow

and over with in about 3 days at which point I can it. If left uncanned for

more than a couple of months, even in a cool place, it develops mold. I have

noticed no difference in taste in cookery. Canning cooks it and even when

'fresh' it is cooked when added to dishes,

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 00:20:38 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - verjus

 

And it came to pass on 11 Mar 00,, that Thomas Gloning wrote:

> The two uses of Italian "agresto" or "agresta" for the unripe grapes and

> for verjuice are also observed in an article of Jaqueline Brunet and Odile

> Redon on "Vins, jus et verjus" [Wines, juices and verjuice in Italian

> cookbooks of the 14th and 15th centuries]. They say:

 

The same usage appears in Spanish.  "Agraz" refers both to the unripe

grapes and to the juice thereof.  Sometimes the liquid is referred to as

"zumo de agraz" (juice of unripe grapes), but the shorthand version is

more usual.

 

Some recipes call for the grapes themselves.  Sometimes this is stated

explicitly as "agraz entero" (whole unripe grapes).  Sometimes it is

simply made clear by the context.  For example, a recipe in Granado for

verjuice jelly contains the instruction to take the "agraz" and remove the

seeds, then cook it with water and sugar until it comes apart; obviously,

this refers to the fruit, not the juice.  There is a recipe in de Nola which

uses the word in both its meanings.  "PARA HACER BUEN AGRAZ

CONFORTATIVO" (To make a good comforting verjuice).  The

instructions are to take "agraz" and crush it in a mortar to extract the

juice, adding leaves of basil.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 16:39:22 -0800

From: Valoise Armstrong <varmstro at zipcon.net>

Subject: SC - Verjus/agraz

 

Hauviette wrote:

> In Alya Atlas's work, the word "agraz" is also used to denote verjus. She

> mentions the fact that Charlemagne was the ruler of Germany at one point and

> had some influence on the culinary arts in this regard. I dont' have the

> manuscript in front of me, so forgive the generalities, time to go to work,

 

According to the lexicon in the back of Wiswe's Kulturgeschichte der

Kochkunst, agraz comes from agresta so the word would seem to be

going north from Italy to Germany not the other way.

 

I noticed in Sabina Welserin's verjuice recipe that she adds salt to

the juice.

 

204 How to make verjuice from early grapes

 

First take the unripe grapes and pound them and strain them. An four

quarts of juice put a handful of salt and put it in a small vat and

stir it around everyday, then it becomes good verjuice.

 

Wouldn't the salt prevent fermentation? Maybe the salt is meant to

act as a preservative.

 

Valoise

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 17:53:11 EST

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - verjus

 

I was just at the local middle eastern food store and low and behold- right

there among the raspberry syrup, quince syrup and pomegranate syrup was

Sour grape juice-  at  $1.99 for 670 gm ( thats Canadian for $1.25 per 10oz).

Well, I bought it, brought it home and promptly cracked the seal.

 

Product of Iran- Dashte Morghab Co

Fax 0098 (021)6466431

Ingredients:pasteurized Sour grape juice

 

Very tart, smell is sweet. The aroma misleads you into thinking it will be a

sweet product. Slightly round at the back of your mouth on the way down, but

still pretty astringent. Amber colour, some sediment in the bottom of the

bottle.

Interesting.

 

I'm going to use it until I find a better source.

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 17:18:51 -0500

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: crabapple verjus

 

Ras wrote:

><< I also use crab apples for the making of verjuis. I do however,

>put the juice

> in a carboy and let it ferment until it stops, then can it in a pressure

> canner for 10 minutes  at  10 LB pressure.  >>

 

and Hauviette answered:

>Do you think that this was a period method? I hadn't thought about the stuff

>being alcoholic at all, or would that not be a result of letting it ferment

>then pressure canning it?

>I had the impression ( and I emphasize the word impression, I have no hard

>facts only observation) that the preserving quality would have been the acid

>or sugar content. I have only seen references to the composition of verjus in

>a few manuscripts ie Le Viander, mentions "verjus grapes" but never a

>direction to ferment the product.

 

Le Menagier de Paris (14th c.) distinguishes in several places

between old verjuice and new verjuice, the stuff that has sat for a

while being better for at least some purposes. This suggests that

some fermentation is taking place. He says:

 

"Note, that in July the old verjuice is too weak and the new verjuice

is too green: and for this reason, at grape-harvest, verjuice which

is mixed half old and half new is best."

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook (still way behind the list)

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 15:38:56 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: SC - Three Easy Pieces, or Verjus Redux

 

The Shire of Crosston, with whom i camp, has a period pot-luck feast

at every Crown Tournament (3 per year in the West). There are always

guests, so there are around 2 dozen diners or so, and frequently

other folks show up looking for food and we feed them, as well.

Generally, there's plenty. At The West Kingdom March Crown Tourney

just passed, I made three dishes from Barbara Santich's "The Original

Mediterranean Cuisine" for the Saturday night feast. I didn't use her

"redactions" for any of them, just referred to the originals and the

translations.

 

VERJUS REDUX

I have now used the Fusion brand Napa Valley Verjus that i bought

from Whole Foods and i thought it was quite nice. I tasted a spoonful

of it before pouring some into the dish i was cooking - i'm weird, i

probably could have drunk a juice glass of it - it was tart and

fruity, but not bitter. I used it in a recipe for garbanzo beans

cooked in almond milk.

 

This was not the unpleasant white grape Fusion brand verjus that

Niccolo di Francesco wrote about. I used the Fusion red verjus, which

was a lovely purplish red color and was neither unpleasantly tart nor

at all bitter, as Niccolo says the Fusion white was. I don't have the

recommended Navarro brand to compare it with, but the Fusion red was

quite good.

 

<snip of recipes>

 

Anahita al-shazhiyya

 

 

ate: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 20:06:22 -0400

From: harper at idt.net

Subject: Re: SC - Lucrezia in Marketland - mainly OOP - LONG

 

And it came to pass on 17 Oct 00, , that Tina Nevin wrote:

> Anyways, I also got some French verjuice 'Verjus du Perigord', (which is

> delicious, much yummier than the middle eastern stuff i usually use),

> which reads "Ingredients Jus de raisins verts du Perigord. Le Verjus etait

> frequemment consomme au Moyen-Age. Ce Verjus s'utilise pour deglacer un

> foie gras, mijoter un gibier ou sous forme d'aperitif." Could someone

> please tell me what that means?

 

"Ingredients: Juice of green grapes from Perigord.  Verjuice was

often consumed in the Middle Ages.  This verjuice can be used to

deglaze foi gras, to simmer game meat, or as an aperitif."

 

> Another nice thing I picked up was some great Spanish white wine vinegar,

> distilled from Chardonnay. It is also delicious, and the Cabernet

> Sauvignon version I tried was even nicer (unfortunately they'd run out, so

> next time). Which led me to wonder whether they made white and red wine

> vinegar in period, as I don't remember ever seeing a receipt specify the

> color of the vinegar. Can anyone?

 

Nola does, though not in every instance where he calls for vinegar.  

Red vinegar only appears once, and the rest of them time when he

specifies, it's white vinegar.  I haven't checked, but I'd guess that

maybe some of the French recipes specify the color of the vinegar.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2001 11:16:16 -0600

From: "Adler, Chris" <Chris.Adler at westgroup.com>

Subject: SC - RE: Verjuice

 

>>Could anyone tell me where I could get verjuice, or what I could

substitute for it?  The quote I've gotten is $11 (American) for a 750 mL

bottle, mail order (I live in Canada).

 

>>Genevieve

 

I order mine from www.navarrowine.com, and it's $8.50 for 750ml (the

specific product is on http://www.navarrowine.com/wines/1100/js00.html). It

may be more if sent to Canada, but I don't know. It's a consistently good

verjuice - I've ordered it a couple of times.

 

Katja

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 14:39:11 EST

From: RuddR at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Verjuice

 

Genevieve wrote:

> Could anyone tell me where I could get verjuice, or what I could

> substitute for it?  The quote I've gotten is $11 (American) for a 750 mL

> bottle, mail order (I live in Canada).

 

I use wine vinegar cut with unsweetened white or red grape juice (generally

tarter than Concord), about three parts vinegar to one of juice.  Cider

vinegar and unsweetened apple juice, in similar proportions works well, too.

 

Rudd Rayfield

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 14:53:39 -0500

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Verjuice

 

The substitute I've used is a sweetish white wine cut with white wine

vinegar. It seems to work fairly well...I believe that I used 6 tsp. of

vinegar to 1 1/2 cups white wine.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 15:15:36 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

>I use wine vinegar cut with unsweetened white or red grape juice (generally

>tarter than Concord), about three parts vinegar to one of juice.  Cider

>vinegar and unsweetened apple juice, in similar proportions works well, too.

>Rudd Rayfield

 

The verjus i bought was drinkable. I even drank about 4 oz. While i

like things tart, i would consider 3 parts vinegar to one part juice

not very drinkable. In my experience, a verjus substitute should be

tart, but not as sharp as fresh lemon juice.

 

Of course, i don't think i can determine whether my modern California

verjus has the same degree of acidity as the Medieval...

 

Anahita amina al-maktabah

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 23:13:34 -0500

From: grizly at mindspring.com

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

> >I use wine vinegar cut with unsweetened white or red grape juice >(generally tarter than Concord), about three parts vinegar to one of >juice.  Cider vinegar and unsweetened apple juice, in similar >proportions works well, too.

 

The verjus i bought was drinkable. I even drank about 4 oz. While i

like things tart, i would consider 3 parts vinegar to one part juice

not very drinkable. In my experience, a verjus substitute should be

tart, but not as sharp as fresh lemon juice.

 

Of course, i don't think i can determine whether my modern California

verjus has the same degree of acidity as the Medieval... > > > > >

 

The problem you'll find with the various substitues people will recommend is that none of them has a resemblant balance of the sour and astringent that you get with underripe grapes or crabapples.  There is so much more going on than just the sour and 'not sweet', and it is nigh impossible to approximate it unless you try adding stuff like tannin to it . . . but then we are losing the simplicity of substitutes.

 

niccolo difrancesco

 

 

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 05:24:52 -0800

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Verjuice

 

re: storebought verjuice

 

just like wine and anything else, the brand you use will greatly change

your end product, of course! The Fusion Foods stuff (available through Dean

and DeLucca and other upscale mail order stores) is very tart and ascerbic,

especially when compared to the stuff we got from the Navarra winery in

Northern California, which was rather sweet.

 

I find the "sour grape juice" from middle eastern markets rather sour, but

lacking in the ascerbic quality from the Fusion Foods brand as well.

 

vinegar/grape juice substitutions make take care of the sweet/tart factor,

but do they carry the ascerbic quality? how can you duplicate that without

adding a ground up aspirin tablet? :)

 

- --Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 12:36:06 -0400From: Angie Malone <alm4 at cornell.edu>Subject: Re: SC - Re: verjuiceIf you need a substitute for verjuice, Barbara Santich in her book:Mediterranean cuisine:Medieval recipes for today recommends the following:(page 47) The best alternative to verjuice is lemon juice, softened with a dash of sweet grape juice or orange juice.The last feast I did I was doing a chicken recipe with verjuice and I used white grape juice with lemon juice to add the sour and I think it worked pretty good.I also remember reading on one of the websites that was selling verjuice that they didn't recommend using vinegar to substitute for verjuice, inferring that vinegar would be much more bludgeoning. They sold 'specialty vinegar' as well so I don't think they were trying more to sell you verjuice.  If I find the source I will post it to the list.BTW, here's the definition I found online for verjuice:The American HeritageÆ Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.   2000.                        SYLLABICATION:                                      ver.juice                       PRONUNCIATION:                                         v˚r¥js¥¥NOUN : 1. The acidic juice of crab apples or other sour fruit, such as unripe grapes. 2. Sourness, as of disposition.ETYMOLOGY:Middle English verjus, from Old French vertjus, verd, unripe, See VERDANT. + jus, juice. See JUICE.Also,  I found a neat url for food substitutions:http://www.foodsubs.com/Vinegars.htmlIt does have verjuice in it.=========Angie Malone, Computing Manager     email: alm4 at cornell.eduCornell University Press, Sage House, 512 East State StreetIthaca, New York 14850

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 13:53:03 -0700From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>Subject: Re: SC - Re: verjuiceAt 15:41 +0100 2001-04-02, Christina Nevin wrote:>       Thorvald skrev:>    Inaccurate. Verjuice grape varieties were cultivated specifically >      for making verjuice, and were harvested before they were ripe.>         Undoubtedly sub-standard verjuice was made from all sorts of other>    things including grapes from other varieties that just weren't going >    to grow up to be proper adult grapes; but the good stuff was made >         from varieties developed and grown for the purpose.>       <snip>>       In some French recipes whole verjuice grapes, cooked and uncooked, >       are called for.> > This is interesting. Documentation for it please?For the whole "verjuice grapes", Viandier de Taillevent in three recipes, "Pork intestine", "Grape dish", and "Grape sauce".For cultivation:Le Robert dict. hist. de la langue franÁaise, 1998, p. 1938, "acidjuice of certain species of grape picked green" (my translation).Scully The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages 1995 p. 79 "Verjuice,the early juice of a particularly tart variety of grape". p. 102"... verjuice, yielded by a particular variety of grape at a dateearlier than that of the regular grape harvest."OED says for 'verjuice grape' "one or other variety of grape suitablefor the making of verjuice"; and mentions four grape varieties as 'verjuice grapes', Chasselas (1706), Gouais, Farineus, Bourdelas (le Grey) (1725).- -- All my best,Thorvald Grimsson / James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net> (PGP user)

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 13:51:21 -0700From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>Subject: Re: SC - Re: verjuiceAt 12:36 -0400 2001-04-02, Angie Malone wrote:> If you need a substitute for verjuice, Barbara Santich in her book:> Mediterranean cuisine:Medieval recipes for today recommends the following:> > (page 47) The best alternative to verjuice is lemon juice, softened > with a dash of sweet grape juice or orange juice.> > The last feast I did I was doing a chicken recipe with verjuice and I > used white grape juice with lemon juice to add the sour and I think > it worked pretty good.> > I also remember reading on one of the websites that was selling > verjuice that they didn't recommend using vinegar to substitute for > verjuice, inferring that vinegar would be much more bludgeoning. > They sold 'specialty vinegar' as well so I don't think they were > trying more to sell you verjuice.  If I find the source I will post > it to the list.Because fresh verjuice was very seasonal, some of the medieval cookbooks describe various substitutes or variations.Generalising, almost any sour juice seems to have been used in period when verjuice was not available, or because someone preferred a different kind of sour taste.  In lands where verjuice grapes did not grow well, other verjuices were used.  In England crabapple verjuice seems to have been the most common.As others have noted, lemon juice is _not_ a close flavour match, but it is the nearest thing that a modern cook is likely to have just kicking around, which is why it so often gets mentioned as a substitute.  Mixing it with white grape juice (unsweetened) would certainly be an improved match.Wine is included in some of the period concocted substitutes, but as far as I recall vinegar is not mentioned in any of them (I'd be interested if anyone has a counter example).In the recipes in Casteau's Overture de Cuisine (1604) the choice "white wine or verjuice" appears 6 times, "wine or verjuice" 4 times, and "vinegar or verjuice" once.  Verjuice on its own is mentioned 4times.  This suggests that for Casteau wine (and specifically whitewine) was a frequent alternative. He has limes and lemons availablefor some of his recipes, but does not mention using them as verjuice substitutes.In Viandier (circa 1390) verjuice is mentioned on its own most ofthe time, and much more frequently than in Casteau. The choice "must (grape juice) or verjuice" is given once.  In many recipes all three of wine and verjuice and vinegar are added, suggesting that to the palates of Taillevent's time they were not the same.- --  Thorvald Grimsson / James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 22:22:51 -0400

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - Re: verjuice

 

And it came to pass on 2 Apr 01, , that James Prescott wrote:

> Wine is included in some of the period concocted substitutes, but

> as far as I recall vinegar is not mentioned in any of them (I'd be

> interested if anyone has a counter example).

 

De Nola (1529) generally suggests (sour) orange juice as an

alternative to verjuice, though in a few places he calls for lemon

juice or white vinegar, and in one recipe he says, "blend the sauce

with some sour stuff such as verjuice or white vinegar which has been

watered down or mixed with wine, so that it does not remain very strong,

or with orange juice".

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 08:47:54 -0400

From: grizly at mindspring.com

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Historical varieties

 

<<I'm not going to get into how much diversity gardeners of the middle ages had to choose from, but I want to point out that all the mentions of specifically 'verjuice' grapes that were cited came from areas where grapes were predominantly grown for wine.  The posted citations for special verjuice grapes didn't come from any areas where wine-grape growing wasn't practical. > > >

 

Am I off track in thinking there could be a misinterpretation of "verjuice grape varities"?  It seems the track of thought here is that there were varieites grown to make verjuice.  I am thinking that there are just varieties (grown for some other primary purpose) whose green fruit, possibly from culls/trimming as done today, made best verjuice rather than specific cultivation for this use.

 

If everyone is already on this page, then congratulate me for finally catching up to the lead lap.

 

niccolo

 

 

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 17:30:44 -0700

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Historical varieties

 

At 08:47 -0400 2001-04-03, grizly at mindspring.com wrote:

> Am I off track in thinking there could be a misinterpretation of "verjuice grape varities"?  It seems the track of thought here is that there were varieites grown to make verjuice.  I am thinking that there are just varieties (grown for some other primary purpose) whose green fruit, possibly from culls/trimming as done today, made best verjuice rather than specific cultivation for this use. <<<<

 

In the books I've looked at from my own library I haven't found a

specific quote, but my brain is telling me that in several places

over the years I've found references to farmers growing the grapes

specifically to be harvested for the production of verjuice.  The

references seemed so commonplace at the time that I didn't think

them worthy of taking notes, the way I would do if there had been

only one obscure reference.

 

There was a big demand for verjuice, it's mentioned as being stored

in barrels, and a number of pages are devoted to substitutes for

when it wasn't available.  There would be many economic reasons

for a farmer to choose to devote some of their crop exclusively to

verjuice, insurance against bad weather being just one.  There

would also be economic pressure to develop varieties that yielded

more of a better tasting verjuice.

 

The quotes I have already given, and those to follow, among other

things mentioning four varieties that were either devoted to, or

preferred for, verjuice seem quite sufficient for me.  They aren't,

however, the proverbial smoking gun.

 

A book on French medieval viniculture might answer the question

definitively. Alas, I don't have one.

 

I can add one more (non-smoking) reference:  In Menagier (Power p.

215) "Note that at that season wherein fresh verjuice is made..."

 

Also another, from Scully, Early French Cookery, 1995, p. 27:  

"Verjuice is a variety of grape that is fully formed by midsummer

but whose taste is acidic and bitter.  Because this taste was so

highly esteemed in the late Middle Ages, and because both the juice

and the mash of verjuice grapes are used so extensively in the

recipes of this period, it is vital for us, if we cannot obtain

those ingredients, to be able to substitute something that is

very similar.  What seems in most instances to be a satisfactory

alternative to verjuice is plain grape juice invigorated with a

dash of lemon juice for tartness."

 

And a third, Scully on the same page quoting from Taciuna sanitatis:

"[Verjuice] is made from sour grapes which have been harvested before

the sun enters Leo.  They are condensed by being left in tubs for

several days together with the marc, covered with a heavy cloth,

until the marc rises and the dregs are deposited on the bottom,

clarifying the verjuice...."

 

Note: the sun currently enters Leo about July 23.  In the Middle

Ages it would have entered Leo earlier in the year relative to

the seasons.  I believe that in 1400 it would have entered Leo

about July 16 modern calendar.

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 21:23:59 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Historical varieties

 

grizly at mindspring.com writes:

<< It seems the track of thought here is that there were varieites grown to

make verjuice.  >>

 

At least two varieties  used for wine making are used to make verjuice at an

Australian winery today. They are Cabernet sauvignon and Riesling, both of

which are ancient varieties. Anyway this information does lead some credence

to your theory.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 02:25:14 -0700

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: Re: Re: SC - Historical varieties

 

At 01:25 -0500 2001-04-05, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> If you were a vine grower, and you had to trim off and cull a bunch of

> your grapes anyway, would you not try to sell them for verjuice, even

> if it sold for a lower price than the verjuice from specially grown

> varieties?

 

Absolutely.

 

And another almost-smoking reference, from Dictionnaire de L'AcadÈmie

franÁaise, 1st Edition, 1694:

 

"Verjus. s. m. Le jus, le suc qu'on tire de certains raisins, quand ils

sont encore tout verds."

 

Verjuice. masculine noun. The juice, the juice that one extracts from

certain grapes, when they are still entirely green. (my translation)

 

It's the presence of the word 'certains', which would not otherwise

be necessary, that suggests that particular varieties were destined

for verjuice.

 

In the 1798 edition of the same dictionary we have another almost-

smoking reference for verjuice grapes:

 

"Verjus, Une certaine espËce de raisin qui n'est pas bon ‡ faire

du vin, dont les grains sont gros et longs, et qui ont la peau

fort dure."

 

Verjuice, a certain species of grape that is not good for making

wine, of which the grapes are big and long, and which have very

tough skin. (my translation)

 

Again, it's the presence of the otherwise unnecessary "certaine

espËce de" which suggests a particular variety or varieties.

 

On the other hand, the same 1798 dictionary has dropped the

'certains' from its definition for verjuice proper.

 

"VERJUS. s. m. Le suc acide qu'on tire des raisins qui ne sont pas

m˚rs."

 

Verjuice. noun masculine. The acid juice that one extracts from

grapes that aren't ripe. (my translation)

 

The absence of the qualification here highlights its presence in

the other two references from the same dictionary.

 

An aside: In modern French wine harvest talk, a 'verjus' is a grape

that looks ripe but isn't.  The people harvesting should detect

these and avoid picking them, which isn't always easy when they

are paid by the quantity they pick.  As a result a sorter has to

look the grapes over later and reject the 'verjus' since they'd

lower the quality of the wine.  During the harvest it seems that

'verjus' are often thrown at other harvesters during horseplay.

 

Second aside:  The finest Dijon mustard is apparently made using

verjuice, not vinegar.  This usage is said to have begun in 1752.

 

Thorvald

 

 

From: LadyAngustias at aol.com

Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 20:42:18 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

alysk at ix.netcom.com writes:

> In a recent post someone mentioned that Dean and

> Deluca's website carried verjuice

 

I just checked my bottle of verjuice and it says bottled by Navarro

Vineyards Philo, Ca.  For information call (707)895-3686 or toll free 1-800-537-9463. Can't tell you where it came from as it was a Yule gift.

 

Angustias

 

 

From: "Barbara Benson" <vox8 at mindspring.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice, Verjus, Vergis

Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 20:54:54 -0400

 

>Howdy. I just ordered 2 bottles of verjuice from a company called French

>Feast out of NYC.

 

>URL for those interested: http://www.frenchfeast.com Price seemed decent,

>shipping a little high. $9.00 each for  two Dommaine du Siorac  Verjus  

>25.4 fl oz bottles, plus $7.00 shipping.

 

Aoife

 

I too just ordered verjuice from an online source.

http://www.navarrowine.com/main.php

When you get yours & I get mine we can compare notes. For reference they

charge $8.50 for a 750ml bottle (I do not know how that compares in size.) I

ordered 1/2 a case so I got a 5% discount and the shipping charge for 6

bottles was $16. I am planning on doing some pickling so I need a good bit.

 

The man on the phone was very nice and answered the questions I had. He said

as long as it is unopened it will keep like wine, but once opened it needs

to be used within 4-5 days. He also suggested if I cannot use it all in that

time period that they freeze it in ice cube trays & defrost just as much as

they need - it doesn't effect the taste. (I had to talk to him because their

website couldn't figure out that what I was ordering was non-alcholic and

therefore OK to ship to GA.

 

Serena da Riva

 

 

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 21:47:09 EDT

From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

wpmay at hotmail.com writes:

>>> 

Any suggestons or hints as I go forth to make some (hopefully)verjuice?

My plan is simple,pick them wash them of,and squeeze them allowing the

juices to collect in a bottle.

<<< 

 

Verjuice is, I believe, slightly fermented.

I made some once from the unripe grapes gleaned from the ripe ones my husband

was using for wine.  On the instructions of a former member of this list,

Ras, I crushed them in a bowl, left the skins in, and covered it for a few days,

leaving it sitting on the counter. It did ferment slightly, probably from

natural yeasts on the grape skins, and produced a very mild fruity sour flavor,

much like the best cider vinegars.

Certainly there are wineries which are also producing verjuice, and I believe

theirs are fermented as well.

 

Brangwayna

 

 

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 22:57:55 -0400

From: "Phil Troy/ G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Also sprach david friedman:

>>>> 

>> 

  In the reading i've done and in any number of reciepts for various dishes verjuice has been called upon.

My understanding from reading and from here is that verjuice is

little more then the juices extracted from un-ripe grapes.

Where I work happens to have a good number of established grape vines and

therefore a goodly number of currently un-ripe grapes.......(can we

see my next project??)

Any suggestons or hints as I go forth to make some (hopefully)verjuice?

My plan is simple,pick them wash them of,and squeeze them allowing

the juices to collect in a bottle.

<< 

 

There is a 17th c. recipe for verjuice made from crab apples in, I

think, Robert May. You might want to look at that for ideas.

<<<< 

 

I'm pretty sure it's Gervase Markham, who's somewhat earlier than May

(even though for a minute I confused May with Evelyn, the Acetaria

fellow, who is later still). Basically the crab apples are trimmed

and picked free of all black bits, then the apples are crushed and

pressed for their juice, which is (IIRC) allowed to rest in a vat for

a short period, where any active fermentation that is going to take

place (there's not a lot of sugar in crabapple juice) takes place,

then it is kegged for storage for up to a year.

 

The main difference from what is described above is you may need to

give the stuff some time to produce some gases, to prevent that

bottle from exploding. I suspect you don't need to worry too much

about keeping it uncovered for a while. G*d forbid it should go sour,

huh? ;-)

 

Fermentation is a word thrown about pretty liberally these days, but

as far as I know, verjuice probably contains various fruit acids,

lactic and/or acetic acid, and no alcohol to speak of.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2004 14:22:59 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I have great news! I just found out that the Navarro vineyard in

California still makes verjus...chardonnay verjus. And it's wonderful

stuff. They charge $9 for a 750 ml bottle (a fifth). The website where

they have it listed is

http://www.navarrowine.com/shop/productdetail.php?prodid=340. The only

other place I found in the US that carries it wanted $18 for a smaller

amount! I have used this product and it really works well.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 14:52:56 -0400

From: "Sharon Gordon" <gordonse at one.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

One other place you can get it periodically is from Jungle Jims grocery

store in Fairfield, Ohio.

http://www.junglejims.com/

Do call before making a trip as they don't always have it.  And do be

forewarned that they have fresh and packaged food from all over the world.

The store covers over four acres of land, and can prove delightfully

hazardous to anyone on a budget :-).

 

Sharon

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 14:37:13 -0700 (PDT)

From: Naquiba Katira al-Maghrebiyya <cynaguanswan at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Yes, the Navarro verjus is quite drinkable when

chilled.  They serve it in the tasting room along with

their wonderful grape juices.  All are great for

non-drinkers and dry sites.  The other brands I have

gotten in the past are more tart and can't be drunk

straight.  I feel they are more like the true verjus

would have been for use in cooking. There is an

imported one from France (tres expensive!!) that I

don't really recommend.  The other local one (Napa

Valley Verjus Company) may or may not still be

producing verjus.  I get mixed inputs from various

sources.  It used to come in an asceptic resealable

container that was very handy.

 

I am hoping to make a trek to Philo and stock up on

the verjus and grape juices.  It is due west of Ukiah

and the drive though twisty and slow is very scenic.

 

I have also ordered by mail and I now use the foam

shipping cases in my cellar.

 

Katira al-Maghrebiyya

 

 

Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004 15:09:26 -0700 (PDT)

From: Naquiba Katira al-Maghrebiyya <cynaguanswan at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Where is it you plan to get verjus? I am looking for some to use with

> an upcoming feast...I need it in about 3 weeks. Navarro is the only

> place I've found that will ship to me, so far.  

> Kiri

 

Oh, sorry, Philo is where Navarro is located.  If I

needed verjus in the next few weeks, I would order it

from Navarro.

 

I attended a feast a couple of years ago when I was

Princess of Cynagua.  The Navarro verjus was used in

some of the feast dishes, and a few bottles were on

the high table. I asked that one be chilled for me to

drink.  The reply from the kitchen was "Oh, you don't

want to drink this! It is just for cooking!"  I sent

it back saying I knew from past experience it was

drinkable and please chill it.  I had it over lots of

ice and it was lovely, though perhaps not to all

tastes.

 

Katira

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 16:37:13 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

The verjus I get from Navarro is made with Chardonnay grapes....

 

Kiri

 

Pixel, Goddess and Queen wrote:

> Does anybody have any input on what sort of grapes make the best

> verjus?

> Margaret

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 21:56:19 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

All of you interested in this topic might like---

Cooking with Verjuice by Maggie Beer.

Viking in Australia published it in 2001. I bought it in Canada where

one can now order the paperback edition from Amazon.ca for less

than 15.00 Can. dollars.

http://www.maggiebeer.com.au/html/books.htm describes her books.

It was also published in the UK.

She relies on Toussaint-Samat for the history which means it's a bit

off, but the modern recipes for using the product are interesting.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 21:15:29 -0700

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandap at hevanet.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I have a Thompson seedless grape in the back yard, originally planted in

about 1945.  I tried picking the grapes and mashing them in a conical sieve

then letting the juice drip and putting it into a freshly scalded crock

which was allowed to sit in a cool place for a couple of weeks.  It didn't

seem to ferment much, but it did mold. Next batch went into the crock for a

couple of days with scalded cheese cloth over the top, then into the fridge.

Was tasty and tart.  I'll have to get a bottle of the labeled stuff to see

if they are anything alike.

 

Regina

 

 

> Verjus is merely the juice of unripe grapes.  I can't imagine that there is

> more to it than picking the grapes at an earlier stage of development,  and

> bottling it as one would any fruit juice.

> Determining when to pick the grapes for verjus would be one of the things

> you brother needs to experiment with for a while.  My best guess would be

> when they are just nearly full size [to get the greatest proportion of juice

> per grape] but not full ripeness. But would it be tart enough then, about

> as tart as kitchen vinegar?  Only taste-testing could tell.

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 22:31:51 -0700

From: Edouard de Bruyerecourt <bruyere at jeffnet.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Wanda Pease wrote:

> I have a Thompson seedless grape in the back yard, originally planted in

> about 1945.  I tried picking the grapes and mashing them in a conical sieve

> then letting the juice drip and putting it into a freshly scalded crock

> which was allowed to sit in a cool place for a couple of weeks.  It didn't

> seem to ferment much, but it did mold.  Next batch went into the crock for a

> couple of days with scalded cheese cloth over the top, then into the fridge.

> Was tasty and tart.  I'll have to get a bottle of the labeled stuff to see

> if they are anything alike.

> Regina

 

My understanding is wild yeast (and possibly other microbes) are on the

grape skin, that they are the white bloom coating on grapes. Basically,

breaking the skin starts fermentation. And grape juice as just the right

amount of sugars, pH level, and nutrients for yeast to live on (a

co-evolution). On an interesting corallary, for matzo to be kosher for

Pesach/Passover, they have to be baked withing 18 minutes of contact

with the water. Otherwise, they could be leavened naturally (and

therefore not kosher for Pesach), which might give you an idea of how

fast natural fermentation can start.

 

If the grapes are tart enough, the pH may be too low for the bacteria to

survive, thus cancelling any need to clean the grapes before crushing.

For comparison, household wine vinegar is pH 2, along with lemon juice.

More than orange juice (ph 3), less than stomach acid. The pH of wine

must (grape juice) is supposed to be around 3-4. From orange juice to

tomato juice.

 

On the other hand, yeast is far more tolerant to acid levels and will

ferment at pH lower than 3.5. I don't know how low yeast can go. Dry

sherry can start as low as 2.7.

 

As far as when to pick grapes for verjuis, usually wineries pick and

crush for wine in October, maybe late September, depending on the local

climate and that particular season. I would say early August to early

September. Mostly a guess. You might want to step out once a week to the

vine and check.

--

Edouard, Sire de Bruyerecourt

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 03:42:11 -0500

From: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: SCA-Cooks maillist SCA-Cooks <SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Edouard, Sire de Bruyerecourt commented:

> As far as when to pick grapes for verjuis, usually wineries pick and

> crush for wine in October, maybe late September, depending on the local

> climate and that particular season. I would say early August to early

> September. Mostly a guess. You might want to step out once a week to

> the vine and check.

 

Among the theories that I remember being discussed here was that

verjuice was a way to use grapes that had to be picked from the vines

early. I believe you have to thin out the grapes as they grow. This

kind of info out to be in any books on growing grapes for wine, but

I've not tried to search this out. I think this idea that the verjuice

was, at least originally, a product of grapes that had to be thinned,

holds merit because why pick them early just for verjuice if you can

leave them on the vine and get ripe grapes which can get turned into

wine?

 

If it is indeed the case that the grapes are from thinning the stock, I

assume that they would be picked much earlier than just before the

harvest. The longer you leave them on the vine, the longer the vine has

to work to create them and the less energy there is to put into the

remaining grapes. And it may be that that is the reason for the

thinning, to get richer, plumper, sweeter grapes for the creation of

wine.

 

Stefan

--------

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

     Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 11:16:55 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Another thing to look for is in Oriental and Middle Eastern markets.

There is a thing called "Sour Grape Juice" which is used much

the same way as verjus was used in period. And it's very inexpensive.

Much better than trying to mix vinegar and orange juice and the like.

 

Gunthar

 

 

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Message-ID: <a06020406bc9f2ba4f0a6 at [209.86.252.67]>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

 

Whatever you do, don't try to drink the "Sour Grape Juice" you can

find in Middle Eastern markets. Whew! Seriously acidic. Really harsh.

 

Anahita

who can't find verjus locally anymore... There was some brand i

bought a couple years ago that was good enough to drink, but i ca't

find it anymore.

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 07:18:40 -0400

From: "Sayyida Halima al-Shafi'i of Raven's Cove" <lkuney at ec.rr.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] verjuice/verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

When in Williamsburg, VA last summer, I toured the Williamsburg Winery

(and tasted!).  They talked about the whole process, including the

thinning of the grapes.  Perhaps i someone more knowledgable than

myself were to send them some information and suggest that verjuice

could be a value-added product for them, they might be amenable to

adding it to their product line.  They might not be aware of the demand

for it.  They have strong historical leanings, including a small museum

of archeological findings from their land.  The owner has recreated on

site a saxon great hall that is quite large with multiple fireplaces and

such that they rent out.

 

Halima

Raven's Cove

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 13:25:36 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: Cooks wthin the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> I wouldn't think of drinking "Sour Grape Juice". That's like drinking

> vinegar or eating crabapples. Ick.

> Verjus s a condiment, like mustard or even balsamic vinegar.

> Drink? Eeeew!

 

Actually, I brought a bottle of verjuice (the big bottle from the

Pepperer's Guild-- by the way they are looking for apprentices) to my

sauces class. We all tasted some and thought it as quite palatable.

--  

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 12:06:30 -0400

From: jah at twcny.rr.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice recipe from 1675

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

In my research, I found a recipe to make Verjuice.

 

139.  To make Verjuice.

 

      Gather your Crabs as foon as the Ker-nels turn black, and lay

them a while in a heap to Sweat, then pick them from the Stalks,

blacks,  and rottenefs, then crufh and beat them all to pieces in a  

Tub, then make a bag  of  courfe Hair-cloath  as  big as your Prefs,  

and fill it with the crufht Crabs,  then put it into  the Prefs and  

Prefs it as long as any moifture will drop out, having a clean Veffel  

underneath to re- ceive the Liquor ; then Tun it up in fweet

Hogfheads,  and to every Hogfhead put half a dozen handfuls of Damask  

Rofe Leaves, then bring it up, and fpend it as you have Occafion.

 

 

I found this in a book that I will be publishing.

If you use it for en event in a booklet, please

give me credit for finding it and sharing it!

 

it is from:

 

THE Accomplifh'd LADY's Delight in Preferving, Phyfick, Beautifying, and Cookery. 1675

 

Credit:

Mrs. Jules A. Hojnowski/Mistress Catalina Alveraz

 

Jules/Catalina

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 09:46:47 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice recipe from 1675

To: jah at twcny.rr.com, Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I remember Cariadoc mentioning a crabapple verjuice recipe from May's

_The Accomplished Cook_ (spelling?) from about the same period.

Presumably crabapples were a lot easier to get in England than grapes.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 13:08:20 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizn.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice recipe from 1675

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Also sprach david friedman:

> I emember Cariadoc mentioning a crabapple verjuice recipe from

> May's _The Accomplished Cook_ (spelling?) from about the same

> period. Presumably crabapples were a lot easier to get in England

> than grapes.

 

Also Gervase Markham, c. ~1615 C.E.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 20:04:00 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice, and whole wheat bread

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I have used both verjus and Middle Eastern sour white grape juice.

Alas, none of the stores that used to carry verjus have it anymore

:-( even though a couple companies up here in NoCal make the stuff.

 

The sour white grape juice was pretty cheap - i still have half a

bottle that's been in my fridge for close to two years and it hasn't

spoiled.

 

The verjus was around $8 for a small (? 8 oz.?) bottle and came in

both red and white. It was very delicious, and i actually drank some.

 

The Middle Eastern white grape juice was intensely sour - the old

stuff in the fridge is now much more mellow. Perhaps keeping it for a

couple years is the answer.

 

While it might be necessary to substitute the Middle Eastern sour

white grape juice for verjus, in my experience, at least, they don't

taste the same.

 

Anahita

who has counted the spices, herbs, sweeteners, and souring agents in

both al-Baghdadi and the Anon. Andalusian and has compared them. -

and they both call for sour grape juice...

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:19:23 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Books for Cooks at British Libary

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Also sprach Robin Carroll-Mann:

> In England, verjus was also made from crabapples, as wel as from

> unripe grapes.  This according to the glossary of "Curye on

> Inglysch".  C. Anne Wilson mentions it in "Food and Drink in

> Britain".

 

Gervase Markham also gives instructions for making crabapple verjuice

in "The English Husewife"

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 23:47:03 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Books for Cooks at Briish Library

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- Pat <mordonna22 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Take good Garbage (giblets), chikens' heas,

> feet, livers, And gizzards, and wash them

> clean; caste them into a nice pot, And caste

> fresh broth of Beef, powder of Pepper, Canell

> (cinnamon), Cloves, Mace, Parsley and Sage

> minced small; then take bread, steep it in the

> same broth, Draw t through a strainer, cast

> thereto, And let boil enough; caste there-to

> powder ginger, vergeous (sour apple juice),

> salt, And a little Saffron, And serve it forth.

> The error?  The modern spelling is verjuice,

> and it is sour juice, preferably sour GRAPE

> juice.

> Mordonna

 

> From the OED:

 

1. The acid juice of green or unripe grapes,

crab-apples, or other sour fruit, expressed and

formed into a liquor; formerly much used in

cooking, as a condiment, or for medicinal

purposes. Also in comparisos as, as sour

(bitter, tart, etc.) as verjuice.

 

I have no problem with their using sour apple

juice.  Sour grape juice isn't always the

sour juice of choice.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 03:11:59 -0600

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Re: grapes for verjuice

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

At 23:39 -0500 2005-04-22, Stefan li Rous wrote:

 

>>  There were in period, and are today, many vinyards that devote specific

>>  areas and varieties of grapes destined to become verjuice.

>  Upon what are you basing this comment? At least

> today, there seem to be only a few sources for

> verjuice. Are these special varieties today

> just for verjuice? Or are these the same

> varieties used for making wines?

 

I base my comments on fairly wide reading and research over a number

of years into what verjuice was and is.

 

First, Scully, The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages, Boydell:

Woodbridge, 1995.  Page 102-103.  The quote within the quote is from

Menagier.

 

    For instance verjuice, yielded by a particular variety of grape at a

    date earlier than that of the regular grape harvest, afforded

    medieval cuisine a sharp, almost bitter flavour.  The difficulty

    was that verjuice did not have a very long life; a twelve-months

    supply was all that any household might sensibly lay in, and that

    twelve months dated from mid-summer. A supply of verjuice could

    easily run out before the new grapes were available and pressed.

    However, from the time that the last batch of 'old' verjuice

    was either exhausted or no longer serviceable, it was not

    necessary simply to pass over the many recipes that called for

    the acrid tang of verjuice: cooks learned to concoct adequate

    substitutions for verjuice, and so could continue to serve

    their _Gratonea_ and _Grattonata_ ... or _Brouet de verjuz_ ...

    throughout the whole year.

 

    Furthermore, clever gardeners or vine-keepers had devised a

    means to have fresh verjuice grapes even at Christmastide!

 

      If you want to have verjuice on the trellis at Christmas.

      When you see that buds are beginning to form, and before

      the flowers open, cut off the bunch of buds twice in

      succession [over several months], and the third time

      let them develop until Christmas. Master John of Hantecourt

      says that you should cut off the shoot beneath the bunch,

      and that the lower sprout will form a new bunch of buds.

 

OED says for 'verjuice grape' "one or other variety of grape suitable

for the making of verjuice"; and mentions four grape varieties as

'verjuice grapes', Chasselas (1706), Gouais, Farineus, Bourdelas

(le Grey) (1725).

 

Ray et al, "Dictionnaire historique de la langue française", Le

Robert: Paris, 1992 for 'verjus' has "suc acide de certaines

espèces de raisin cueilli vert" which in my translation is the

acid juice of certain species of grape gathered green (unripe).

 

Viandier in three recipes calls for "verjuice grapes" specifically,

referring to whole verjuice grapes or (in one recipe) bunches of

verjuice grapes.

 

From the web, a quotation said to be from a French dictionary

(Bescherolle) of 1852 for 'verjus':

 

    Variété de raisin, à grains longs et gros à peau forte et dure

    et qui n'est pas propre à faire du vin.

 

    (my translation: variety of grape, with long and large fruit

    with strong and tough skin, and which is not suitable for

    making wine)

 

>>  The grapes are deliberately picked unripe, and turned into verjuice.

>  Yes. Verjuice was also made from other fruits

> such as crabapples. I don't know whether

> crabapples or grapes were considered to make

> superior verjuice in period. That bit of info

> would be useful to have. It could be that

> crabapples made superior verjuice but were more

> expensive than using grapes pulled for

> thinning. Or it could be that crabapples were

> used to make verjuice in regions that didn't

> have native grapes and thus was cheaper than

> using imported verjuice.

 

From all I've read, the grape verjuice was considered the superior

verjuice.  It was used in large quantities, indicating large scale

production.  Other sources were either subsitutes or alternatives.

 

For example, from Scully (Art of Cookery as above) page 111:

 

    In the first place, in the matter of the medieval _taste_, we have

    already spoken of the grape products, that is, wine, vinegar,

    verjuice, and must.  These ingredients were in just about universal

    use.  There are few dishes or sauces in which the liquid requirements

    are not satisfied by grape juice in one of its forms, fermented or

    not.  Two basic reasons probably account for this reliance upon

    wine and its relatives, their durability and the diversity of

    their flavours.  While generally rich and fruity, red and white

    wines, vinegar, verjuice and must all possessed a distinct tang

    in a greater or less degree that was very highly valued by

    medieval cooks and their patrons.

    ...

    And these products were produced across continental Europe, were

    readily available in season, and were affordable in the normal

    household.

    ...

    In the fifteenth century some cooks began to resort to the citrus

    fruits for this bitter or sharp taste.  Though limes, lemons,

    citrons and oranges (always the bitter orange at this time) appear

    in Italian and Hispanic collections, and are squeezed for their

    juices, vinegar and verjuice are never displaced from their

    dominant positions, and much less did wine yield any ground at

    all.  The pungent, fruity flavour was desired and sought.  Many

    recipes will, in fact, direct that the cook should judge the

    amount of verjuice or vinegar to enter the dish by the way it

    should dominate all other flavours, including any spices, in the

    dish.  While must was richly flavourful, wine, vinegar and

    verjuice furnished the cooking of the period with its zest.

 

 

Crabapples, gooseberries, and sorrel were used as substitutes.  For

example, Menagier in May [when last season's verjuice would be running

low], for a wedding, orders sorrel to be used to make sorrel verjuice,

and two paragraphs later also orders sorrel verjuice (one quart)

already made up from the saucemaker [a merchant].

 

Menagier has a recipe for sorrel verjuice which includes "old white

verjuice" as an ingredient, which to me indicates that the unique

flavour of verjuice (from grapes) was still sought even in the

substitute verjuice.  This recipe indicates that parsley, shoots of

wheat, and tender vine shoots might also be added to the sorrel.

 

>>  Verjuice is made deliberately and (in period) in large quantities, not

>>  as a way of getting rid of otherwise useless grapes (though doubtless

>>  small quantities were made from such material).

>  And this, I definitely would like to see any

> evidence for. Perhaps there are agricultural

> treatises which talk about growing grapes for

> verjuice? Or manor reports which say x amount

> of vineyard for wine grapes and  y amount of

> vineyard for verjuice?

 

I don't have any period acreage figures.

 

The first observation is the sheer quantity of verjuice consumed.

You just don't get such quantities from culls.  Especially when

the verjuice season was mid-summer, not during the wine harvest.

 

Scully in "Chiquart's 'On Cookery'" (Peter Lang: New York, 1986)

on page 13 orders 8 'sommes' of white wine vinegar,  8 'sommes'

of red wine vinegar, and 20 'sommes' of good verjuice.  This

shows that slightly more verjuice would be used than vinegar.

The corresponding amount of wine used in cooking for this feast

does not, alas, seem to be given.

 

There is a mention (not well attributed) on a web site which

indicates that the municipal office in Picardy called the

"Echevinage" (date 1701 or earlier) was responsible for

inspecting the quality of the verjuice.

 

In modern times:

 

Probably the most common (if not well known) modern use of verjuice

is in some formulations of Dijon mustard (using verjuice from the

Bourgogne region).

 

A web site describing the vineyards of Les Verdots (not

connected with the Dijon mustard) mentions 20 hectares, of

which 3% is planted with "Périgord (Cépage local dont certains

font le fameux verjus" (my translation is "Perigord, a local

variety of grape from which some people make the famous

verjuice").

 

People may be confused by two modern meanings of 'verjus': the

first being the name of the unripe grapes rejected during the

harvest of ripe grapes for wine; and any second crop of grapes

in the same season from a vine.

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 11:16:41 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Re: grapes for verjuice

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

James Prescott/Thorvald wrote:

> First, Scully, The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages, Boydell:

> Woodbridge, 1995.  Page 102-103. The quote within the quote is from

> Menagier.

 

[snip]

 

> For example, from Scully (Art of Cookery as above) page 111:

>   In the fifteenth century some cooks began to resort to the citrus

>   fruits for this bitter or sharp taste.  Though limes, lemons,

>   citrons and oranges (always the bitter orange at this time) appear

>   in Italian and Hispanic collections, and are squeezed for their

>   juices, vinegar and verjuice are never displaced from their

>   dominant positions, and much less did wine yield any ground at

>   all.

 

[snip]

 

   Pomegranate juice (from sour varieties of pomegranate) and pomegranate

wine were also used in those cuisines. I'd also push the date further

back -- various citrus fruits appear in the 14th century Catalan

cookbooks "Libre de Sent Sovi" and "Libre de Totes Maneres de Confits".

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 03:22:57 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Re: grapes for verjuice

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Modern verjuice is described here--

http://www.verjuice.co.za/origins_discovered.htm

 

Maggie Beer has even written a book--

http://www.maggiebeer.com.au/

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2005 21:33:39 -0400

From: AEllin Olafs dotter <aellin at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] verjuice

To: Cook within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

There's a recipe in Markham for making verjuice from crabapples.

 

AEllin

 

 

Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 18:44:07 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice grape question?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I'm gonna try verjuice this fall, too, and was talking about it

with a friend who's a professional brewer (has her own winery), and she

says that for verjuice, you actually want them partly on the way to

being ripe, instead of completely green. Something about maximizing the

juice and getting a *little* of the natural sugars.  She also said that

when you mash up the grapes, to use, IIRC, a little pectic enzyme?,

which will also help give you more juice, and to let the treated grapes

sit for 24 hours before you actually juice them.

 

--maire

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 01:43:40 -0400

From: Robin <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Making verjuice

To: SCAFoodandFeasts at yahoogroups.com, sca-cooks at ansteorra.org,

        godecookery at yahoogroups.com

 

I have translated a short chapter from a 1551 Spanish agricultural manual.

 

Chapter XXIX On Preserving the Juice of Unripe Grapes

 

The sourness of verjuice is more gracious for eating than that of

vinegar, and even healthier; and in the lands where there are no orange

trees and they cannot easily be had, they keep it all year long. They

take the unripe grapes [agrazes] when they are quite plump and sour

before they finish ripening. And they pound them in a mortar of stone,

and while pounding they cast in a little salt and thus set it in the sun

for two or three days; and they put the juice in some glazed or coated

vessel and they keep it well covered. Others do not cast in salt, but

salt helps greatly to preserve it, especially if it is from those grapes

[uvas] whose wine is short-lasting, some cast it in a glass or glazed

vessel and on top of it they cast a little oil, so that, as I said about

wine, it is better preserved.

 

Gabriel Alonso de Herrera, Libro de agricultura que es de la labraça y

criança y de muchas otras particularidades del campo, Toledo,  

Spain, 1551

 

Notes:

 

The oranges mentioned in this passage are bitter oranges. Orange juice

is a common sour ingredient in period Spanish recipes, along with

verjuice, vinegar, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice..

 

"Uva" is the Spanish word for grape. "Agraz" is the word for an unripe

grape. "Zumo de agraz" is the juice of unripe grapes, but "agraz" is

often used in recipes to mean verjuice.

 

The word I have translated as "coated" is "pegada". "Pegar" is one of

those verbs that have at least a dozen meanings, but the essential

meaning is to stick things together, to adhere, to attach. In an earlier

chapter on making and storing wine, the author describes coating wooden

wine casks with hot pitch. (The other form of wine vessel -- also used

for storing verjuice -- is glazed earthenware.)

 

A facsimile of this book (in Spanish) can be found at:

http://alfama.sim.ucm.es/dioscorides/consulta_libro_b.asp?ref=x533701960

The chapter in question begins at the bottom right of page image #101.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 12:39:52 -0400

From: "Denise Wolff" <scadian at hotmail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> From: wildecelery at aol.com

 

> Mistress Andrea,

>  Can you share the directions for making verjuice from crabapples?

> -Ardenia

 

Sure!

 

Andrea

 

Gather the crab apples and trim all the  blackend areas.Then the apples are

crushed (I used a food processor) and Press (Cheesecloth) for their juice.

Place in clean container with cheesecloth over mouth of vessel. Allow to sit

at room temperature (I used the weekend). Then transfer to clean bottles and

cap (as if you were bottling wine or mead). Keep in fridge to maintain.

 

 

139.  To make Verjuice.

 

       Gather your Crabs as foon as the Ker-nels turn black, and lay

them a while in a heap to Sweat, then pick them from the Stalks,

blacks,  and rottenefs, then crufh and beat them all to pieces in a

Tub, then make a bag  of  courfe  Hair-cloath  as big as your Prefs,

and fill it with the crufht Crabs,  then put it into  the Prefs and

Prefs it as long as any moifture will drop out, having a clean Veffel

underneath to re- ceive the Liquor ; then Tun it up in fweet

Hogfheads,  and to every Hogfhead put half a dozen handfuls of Damask

Rofe Leaves, then bring it up, and fpend it as you have Occafion.

 

The Accomplifh'd Lady's Delight in Preferving, Phyfick, Beautifying, and

Cookery. 1675

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 11:33:32 -0700 (PDT)

From: Tom Vincent <tom.vincent at yahoo.com>

Subject: Verjuice - was Re: [Sca-cooks] Rumpolt Hungarian Chicken

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I know this comes up every once in a while, but my favorite  

commercially available Verjuice is Navarro's Chardonnay Verjus (2005).

 

   http://www.navarrowine.com/shop/productdetail.php?prodid=489#

 

   There's a nice recipe link there, too.

 

   Duriel

   (oh, how I miss small California wineries!)

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 14:47:05 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: Verjuice - was Re: [Sca-cooks] Rumpolt Hungarian Chicken

To: TomRVincent at yahoo.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Tom Vincent wrote:

> I know this comes up every once in a while, but my favorite  

> commercially available Verjuice is Navarro's Chardonnay Verjus (2005).

>   http://www.navarrowine.com/shop/productdetail.php?prodid=489#

>   There's a nice recipe link there, too.

>   Duriel

>   (oh, how I miss small California wineries!)

 

Yes, I agree that there's is superb.  However, it is frightfully

expensive, too much so for most feasts.  I've heard rumors of a possible

supplier in Baltimore, MD, who is substantially cheaper...but have not

had the time to chase it down.  I did find a merchant in New York City

who carries it as well...http://www.frenchfeast.com/products.htm#condiments , and one in Florida:  http://www.markys.com/caviar/customer/home.php?cat=584.  Be

warned, however.  They both carry lots of other really spiffy stuff!

I'm in the process of working on a chocolate syrup with merlot wine and

rasberry flavorings...YUMMMMMMMM.

 

Kiri (but then, of course, it's great...it's chocolate, after all!)

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 07:48:18 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Yup, we tend to buy them out of their last case or two

every year when an event is held just a few miles from

the winery.  Our Beltane celebration.  I have also

found an alternate source of very fine artisanal

verjus that is made by a very nice lady in Sonoma.

It's called Terra Sonoma and can be found here:

 

http://www.terrasonoma.com/

 

BTW, the Navarro verjus is actually a gewurztraminer

grape, not a chardonnay.  They also make a pinot noir

version which is a red rather than a white.

 

Eibhlin, Baroness of Vinhold (Napa, CA), which would

explain the persnickitiness of the grape thing.  ;)

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 10:14:37 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

*****

Why would you say it's a Gewürztraminer when they

clearly say it's aChardonnay?

 

   Duriel

*****

 

Because the one they currently have for sale on both

their website and in their paper mailer advertise it

as Gewurztraminer - and every bottle I have ever

purchased has been such.  Follow this url:

http://www.navarrowine.com/shop/

 

You will see about halfway down under the

Non-alcoholic section that they are offering both the

Gewurztraminer and the Pinot Noir.

 

Baroness Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 13:52:45 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Duriel wrote:

> Why would you say it's a Gew¸rztraminer when they

> clearly say it's a Chardonnay?

 

And Eibhlin responded:

> Because the one they currently have for sale on both

> their website and in their paper mailer advertise it

> as Gewurztraminer - and every bottle I have ever

> purchased has been such.  Follow this url:

> http://www.navarrowine.com/shop/

> You will see about halfway down under the

> Non-alcoholic section that they are offering both the

> Gewurztraminer and the Pinot Noir.

 

The bottle i bought at Beltane last year is a

Chardonnay (haven't opened it yet). Maybe i can

get a bottle of the Gewurztraminer this year (if

they're not all sold out by the time i get there)

and do a taste test.

 

As for the Middle Eastern someone else mentioned.

The label says "sour grape juice" and i hesitate

to say that it is anything other than a verjus

substitute. I've tried two brands, and, wow! is

that stuff harsh and sour. I use it in feasts

because it's cheap, but it tastes quite different

from every bottle of verjus i've bought. I did

have a half-used bottle in the back of my fridge

for a year, and it didn't spoil at all, and it

mellowed considerably into something i'd call

verjus.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 16:13:03 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> As for the Middle Eastern someone else mentioned. The label says "sour

> grape juice" and i hesitate to say that it is anything other than a verjus

> substitute. I've tried two brands, and, wow! is that stuff harsh  

> and sour.

 

> Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

Well, I kind of wonder if the harsh and sour stuff is a bit

more authentic. Reading from period sources verjuis

was crushed crabapples or green grapes. The bottled stuff

seems more like an underdone wine. Has anyone crushed

the crabapples or grapes and did a taste test?

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 14:45:58 -0700

From: "K C Francis" <katiracook at hotmail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

The verjus IS Chardonnay and the grape juices are the Gewurztraminer and the

Pinot Noir.  The last two are NOT verjus, just nice grape juice in a wine

bottle which I love for feasts when I have to drive hom.

 

Katira

who has all three in her cellar

 

 

Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 20:08:15 -0700

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandap at hevanet.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Verjus

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I get my Verjuce from

http://www.frenchfeast.com/products.htm#condiments

 

Domaine du Siorac · Verjus · 33cl (11.2 fl oz) · $6.90 · Available Date

Unknown.

Domaine du Siorac · Verjus · 75cl (25.4 fl oz) · $11.50 · To order

 

It is the Pergord and very nice.  I love Tart flavors so I can pretty much

cut it by about 1/3 with water or seltzer, or even drink it straight.  They

have other condiments and wonderful prices as well.

 

Not affiliated, just very happy customer for the last several years.

 

Regina Romsey

 

 

Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 19:24:08 -0700

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandap at hevanet.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OOP - Nectar de Rhubarbe

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Since I happen to like tart things I'm about to put in my

annual order with French Feast for their verjuice at

http://www.frenchfeast.com/products.htm#condiments   Domaine du Siorac .

Verjus. 75cl (25.4 fl oz) . Exp 08/31/07 . $12.30 now $9.84 .

It can be diluted for drinking or used for cooking (what a concept!  

grin).

 

Regina

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 21:01:16 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-Cooks] Verjus question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Pixel, Goddess and Queen wrote:

 

> For that matter, do we have any mention of verjus fermenting? I imagine

> that it would stay sour regardless of alcohol content, and given what my

> schedule has been like I also imagine that I'll be able to give a report

> on what fermented verjus is like in a couple of months. ;-)

> Margaret

 

Gabriel Alonso de Herrera, in his agricultural manual (1551 edition)

discusses "How to Preserve Verjus".  I won't take the time to translate

the whole passage, but here's the gist of it:

 

Take unripe grapes when they are plump (but before they ripen).  Grind

them in a stone mortar.  Add some salt, and leave it in the sun for two

or three days.  Put the juice in vessel of glass or glazed

earthenware, and  cover it.  Don't add any more salt than is needed to

preserve the verjus.

 

If anyone wants to look at the original, go to:

http://alfama.sim.ucm.es/dioscorides/consulta_libro.asp?ref=X533701960

and look at images 101 and 102.

 

I know that in baking, salt retards the growth of yeast; perhaps

something similar is happening here?

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 19:24:24 -0700

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandap at hevanet.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-Cooks] Verjus question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I made some verjus from my brother's Rogue Valley Concord grapes.  He was

experimenting with grape varieties that would grow well on the Oregon Coast.

The Concords will not ripen so he was happy to get rid of the grapes.  We

crushed them and put the resulting juice through the press and then into

clean jars (probably not sterile, but washed with soap and hot water).  I

took it home and put some of it in a jar with sterile cheese cloth over the

top. I put the rest into the back of the fridge well capped.

 

The stuff in the jar with the cheese cloth cover in a cool place in the

basement still molded.  I couldn't see that it had fermented, just molded.

I skimmed off the mold and brought the juice to a simmer for about to

minutes (not rolling boil), poured it into a juice container and put  

it in the back of the fridge with the rest.

 

The fresh stuff tasted Nasty!

 

I forgot about both science projects for almost a year until refrigerator

cleaning became essential.  I hauled them out and it was tart and very tasty

since I like tart stuff.  No "off" flavor in either batch.

 

The next time I tried it I brought all the juice to a simmer to kill the

beasties. Maybe I wouldn't have to in England or France where the right

beasties live, but possibly not in Oregon.

 

Again we had what I will call verjus, but it did take about a year to  

mellow and blend.

 

I wonder if they did something to keep it since so many recipes call for it.

If it had no keeping properties they would only have had it for a short time

when the grapes or crabapples were there for picking.  Even if they could

only harvest the fruit in Summer, they were still using it for winter  

dishes weren't they?

 

Regina

 

> On Wed, 25 Jul 2007, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>> I thought period verjuice was unfermented or didn't ferment. If they

>> didn't have a problem with the juice fermenting, why would Margaret?

>> Because you fear Margaret's grapes are more ripe? Or a different

>> type? Or something else? Was medieval verjuice used so quickly that

>> it didn't have time to ferment?

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 16:26:26 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-Cooks] Verjus question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

There are these recipes for making verjuice.

 

/This is an excerpt from *Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin*, V. Armstrong (trans.).

The original source can be found on David Friedman's website

<http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Medieval.html>;./

 

204 How to make verjuice from early grapes. First take the unripe grapes

and pound them and strain them. And in one quart of juice put a handful

of salt and put it into a small vat and stir it around everyday, then it

becomes a good verjuice.

 

/This is an excerpt from *Libre del Coch*, R. Carroll-Mann (trans.).

The original source can be found on Mark S. Harris' website

<http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/Guisados1-art.html>;./

 

83. To make a good comforting verjuice. When you grind the unripe grapes

to extract the juice, grind them with a sprig or some leaves of basil.

And it is very good for comforting the heart. And it is of good flavor.

 

These can be seen at http://www.medievalcookery.com/index.shtm

 

Another that I have found in the survey of 17th century recipes and

mentions is the same one given in the Florilegium:

 

139. To make Verjuice.

 

Gather your Crabs as soon as the Kernels turn black, and lay them a

while in a heap to Sweat, then pick them from the Stalks, blacks, and

rotteness, then crush and beat them all to pieces in a Tub, then make a

bag of course Hair-cloath as big as your Press, and fill it with the

crusht Crabs, then put it into the Press and Press it as long as any

moisture will drop out, having a clean Vessel underneath to receive the

Liquor; then Tun it up in sweet Hogsheads, and to every Hogshead put

half a dozen handfuls of Damask Rose Leaves, then bring it up, and spend

it as you have Occasion.

The Accomplish'd lady's delight in preserving, physick, beautifying, and

cookery 1675.

 

A number of the later recipes from the late 16th-17th centuries that I

glanced at today call for the verjuice

that is added to a recipe to simmered or boiled into a sauce. That might

have killed any bugs/mold that were found

in the verjuice. There are numerous mentions in EEBO-TCP but only the

recipe given above for making the stuff.

That means going back to the books if one is going to do a survey of the

recipes.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 12:50:36 -0500

From: Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Verjuis alternatives

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> You might check to see what the price is for white grape juice. I

> have sometimes used that for recipes calling for grape juice or

> verjus.

 

That's a good idea. Or if you happen to have an Oriental or South

American market in your area you can look for something called

"Goya Sour Grape Juice". It's inexpensive and works great!

 

Mixing orange juice or grape juice and some lemon juice works.

 

Sometimes you can buy fresh crabapples pretty cheap at

markets. Whiz them in a food processor and strain through

cheesecloth.

 

> Brighid ni Chiarain

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 13:19:02 -0700 (PDT)

From: Katheline van Weye <kat_weye at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Crab-apples and Verjuice

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

The discussion on historical apples reminded me of something...In 16th century English cooking, verjuice is made from crab-apples.

 

From Markham's The English Housewife...

-------------------------------------

31. To make verjuice

To make verjuice, you shall gather your crabs as soon as the kernels turn black, and, having laid them a while in a heap to sweat together, take them and pick them from stalks, blacks, and rottenness: then in long troughs with beetles for the purpose, crush and break them all to mash: then make a bag of coarse haircloth as square as the press, and fill it with the crushed crabs; then put it into the press, and press it while any moisture will drop forth, have a clean vessel underneath to receive the liquor: this done, tun it up into sweet hogsheads, and to every hogshead put a half a dozen handfuls of damask rose leaves, and then bung it up, and spend it as you shall have occasion.

-------------------------------------------

 

Note: The "beetles" mentioned in the recipe refer to clotting beetles or mallets.

 

Katheline

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 02:34:21 -0600

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sorrel verjuice?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

At 2:01 AM -0500 5/15/09, Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< I have to say, I would probably make the sorrel verjuice again from my

last feast. It was incredible, really showing off both the flavor of the

verjuice and the flavor of the sorrel, and was the perfect complement to

the poached mahi-mahi I served it with. The sharp/sour/sweet of the

sorrel verjuice cut the richness of the fish. The combination was just

great.

 

Madhavi >>>

 

Was this your own invention? Or do you have some evidence for

verjuice being made with sorrel in period? Or is this just an

addition to green grape or crabapple juice, which is what I thought

verjuice was made from.

 

Stefan

-------------

 

There is indeed reference to verjuice made from various sour items

including sorrel, not just unripe grapes or crabapples.  Also to

verjuice made with and without the addition of salt.

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 07:24:42 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sorrel verjuice?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On May 15, 2009, at 3:01 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< Was this your own invention? Or do you have some evidence for  

verjuice being made with sorrel in period? Or is this just an  

addition to green grape or crabapple juice, which is what I thought  

verjuice was made from.

 

Along those lines I wonder if there are medieval recipes for green  

sauces made with sorrel? >>>

 

As Thorvald states, both verjuice and green sauce can be made from  

sorrel, and I believe a couple of recipes for sorrel sauce were posted  

(puree, add salt, serve, essentially). Sorrel verjuice is, I gather,  

most often made by steeping sorrel in verjuice, but it's quite tangy  

on its own: a key in understanding the situation might lie in the fact  

that in parts of the US and other English-speaking locations, wild  

sorrel is more commonly known as sourgrass.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 06:30:31 -0700

From: edoard at medievalcookery.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sorrel verjuice?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

-------- Original Message --------

From: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

<<< Was this your own invention? Or do you have some evidence for  

verjuice being made with sorrel in period? Or is this just an  

addition to green grape or crabapple juice, which is what I thought  

verjuice was made from. >>>

 

Green Verjuice [Sauce]. Take sorrel including the stem, steep in some

other verjuice, strain [through cheesecloth], and add a bread crust so

that it does not turn.

[Le Viandier de Taillevent]

 

- Doc

 

 

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 17:34:06 -0400 (EDT)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Seville Oranges, was Tudor Recipe help

To: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>,   Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< Hmm, have you tried mixing in sour grape juice (verjuice)?  When I bought

some at sour grape juice at the local middle eastern store, I was surprised

how different the taste was from the various substitutes. >>>

 

Oh, yeah. That stuff is not much like the modern verjuice from wine grapes i get here in Northern California. It is very harsh.

 

On some other hand, i had a bottle that i'd used a little of, recapped it tightly and it ended up way at the back of the shelf where it sat for many many months. When i rediscovered it it was not moldy, but it had mellowed considerably.

 

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

 

 

Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 18:12:54 -0800 (PST)

From: Honour Horne-Jaruk <jarukcomp at yahoo.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Next project, next recipe II.Ambroyno- price questions

 

--- On Fri, 2/19/10, Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net> wrote:

<<< Verjus source:

 

http://sadaf.com/store/product198.html? [or you

can find it in a Middle Eastern grocery store if you have

such in your area.]

 

Cheers, Selene >>>

 

Alternatively, if you live in the country on either coast (or in many places inland) you can make good verjus for free by offering to 'clear drops' from an orchard in the summertime before the apples ripen, or relatively cheaply by buying canning-grade crabapples. Both these forms of verjus were very common north of the vinyard line.

 

Yours in service to both the Societies of which I am a member-

(Friend) Honour Horne-Jaruk, R.S.F.

Alizaundre de Brebeuf, C.O.L. S.C.A.- AKA Una the wisewoman, or That Pict

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 15:03:11 -0700

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

To: yaini0625 at yahoo.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice was Re:  Next project, next recipe

        II.Ambroyno- price questions

 

<<< Verjuice literally means "green juice."  It is the sour juice of unripe

fruit, although in our context the fruit is usually grapes or crabapples.

It adds an acidic bite.  It has largely been replaced in modern cooking by

lemon juice.

 

Bear >>>

<< Why do you think verjuice has been replaced by lemon juice? Lemons

are what time period?

Aelina the Saami >>

 

I take Bear's meaning that modern cooks (i.e. not SCA people) tend to reach

for the lemon juice when then want something lightly sour in a dish -- in

much the same way that a mediaeval cook would tend to reach for the verjuice.

 

In period "verjuice" could also be made from anything that was sour.  We have

specific mention also of sorrel and gooseberries.

 

The verjuice that was made from unripe grapes was farmed on a large scale.

Farmers grew particular varieties of grapes specifically for making into

verjuice.

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 20:11:15 -0800

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Next project, next recipe II.Ambroyno-

        price/verjuice

 

Also in order to get a good fruit on the grapes you are using for wine you

should prune a percentage of the grapes half way through the growing season.

Hence a ton of sour grapes! And the perfect product to make from them?

Agresto!

Eduardo

Who prefers to use the Italian rather than the French term.

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 21:01:53 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice was Re:  Next project,  next recipe

        II.Ambroyno- price questions

 

<<< Why do you think verjuice has been replaced by lemon juice? Lemons are

what time period?

Aelina the Saami >>>

 

There is disagreement as to whether lemons arrived in the Mediterranean

Basin in the 1st Century or the 10th, but lemons did get there by some point

in the Middle Ages.  They would have been rare outside of the Mediterranean

countries and were likely expensive even there.  Simply put, verjuice was

more readily available.

 

If you look in Martino, there are recipes that use verjuice, lemon juice, or

bitter orange juice interchangeably

 

In modern times, lemons have become more readily available and cheaper than

extracting verjuice.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 08:33:05 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Verjuice was Re:  Next project,  next recipe

        II.Ambroyno- price questions

 

<<< In modern times, lemons have become more readily available and cheaper

Than extrracting verjuice. >>>

 

I'm sure it is demand and economies of scale, I don't see any reason for

verjuice to cost more to produce than grape juice.

 

Ranvaig

===================

 

You are going to sell a lot more sweet grape juice for drinking, than sour

grape juice for cooking.  If demand were equal on a use to use basis, an 8

to 12 ounce serving of grape juice would commercially scale better and cost

less than a couple tablespoons of verjuice.  Even bottled lemon would

probably cost less than verjuice, because it has a wider range of uses

including lemonade.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:42:07 -0600

From: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Next project, next recipe II.Ambroyno-

        price/verjuice

 

Adamantius said:

<<< Is red wine grape verjuice red or green/yellow? I mean, the "ver"  

in "verjuice" does denote green, after all...>>>

 

I think the "green" in verjuice is referring to "green" as in unripe,  

not the color. Similar to "green" cheese.

 

Although there are other ways to get it, and it has been mentioned  

that there are some specific "verjuice" grapes, I'm still of the  

opinion that most verjuice, at least to start with, was simply  

something useable they could make from the unripe grapes that have to  

be removed from the vine during the growing season.

 

Stefan

--------

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra

   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2010 19:36:46 -0700

From: Susan Fox <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org, CaidBrewers at yahoogroups.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Making verjus

 

So the feral table grapes are all over my parents' backyard again and

the bunches of grapes are forming.  Not very big and juicy since nobody

actually waters them on purpose, but the fruit is on the vine, about the

size and colour of petits pois. so I grabbed about five bunches, picked

them off the stems and ran them through the blender with a dash of

water. Now draining through a nylon coffee filter.  What a nice flavor,

very grapey but sour as lemon juice.  I will use this for salads!  And

freeze a bunch for the rest of the year's cookery.

 

I have a Persian feast coming up next March, I don't suppose it will

keep in the freezer until then?  The problem with Black Oak Lodge is

that it's so early in the year, before the fruit harvests.  Alas.

 

Dame Selene

 

 

Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2010 11:46:39 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,     Elaine

        Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Query about verjus...urgent!!

 

Actually the MED, Middle English Dictionary states:

 

Acidic juice extracted from unripe or sour fruit, chiefly grapes but  

also crabapples, verjuice:

(a) generally, or as a commodity, of unspecified purpose;

 

(b) used in combs. or phrases specifying the type or intended or  

customary use of various vessels: ~ barel, barillum ad (pro) ~, botel  

~, a barrel (bottle) for storing verjuice;

 

(c) cook. as an ingredient in dishes or sauces; also, such considered  

with regard to its medicinal or wholesome properties [last quot.]; ~  

of grapes, grapes ~;

 

The following definitions might relate to green wheat, provided green  

wheat was considered to be the same as green herbs--

 

(d) cook. as a sauce; also, such considered with regard to its  

medicinal or wholesome qualities; also, sauce made with green herbs [=  

vert-sauce n.], whether or not containing verjuice; also fig. [quot.  

c1390]; ?also, the green color of such sauce [quot. c1400]; ~ sauce;  

mete ~, ?a pottage of white meat in green sauce;

 

c1390 Disp.Virg.& Cross (Vrn)   167-8,170:  We schulde ete vr lomb in  

sour vergeous; Sour vergeous mai make vr soules glad ... Sour vergeous  

schal make ?e deuel adrad.

 

 

e) as a tonic or medicine, usu. in the form of a drink mixed with  

other liquids; also as an ingredient of topical medications; also, ?as  

an herbal potion of astringent properties [quot. ?c1425];

 

Johnna

 

<<< Hi folks, Got a question:  has anyone ever heard of verjus being  

either made out of, or containing green wheat?  I can't find any references to it but my knowledge, resources and experience may be limited!  If you could respond right away, I'd be grateful!!

 

Kiri >>>

 

--On Monday, December 06, 2010 11:27 AM -0500 Kate Wood <malkin at gmail.com wrote:

<< No, verjus is made from grapes, and as far as I know it's  

always made from grapes. >>

 

On Dec 6, 2010, at 11:34 AM, Gretchen Beck wrote:

< Aren't there also recipes for it made from crabapples? >

 

 

Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2010 12:18:41 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Query about verjus...urgent!!

 

It's also in the 1616 Maison rustique, or The countrey farme? which  

was Englished of course by  Geruase Markham.

 

There is a kind of wild Apple, called a Choake-apple, because they are

verie harsh in eating, and these will serue well for hogges to eat.

Of these apples likewise you may make verjuice if you presse them in  

a Cyder-presse, or if you squeese them vnder a verjuice milstone.

 

----

and here:

 

Verjuce which is made of soure or vnripe grapes, or of crabs, or other

vnripe soure apples, is like to vinegar in operation, sauing that it  

is of a more cooling nature, & ther|fore more agreeable for hot and  

cholericke bodies. It refresheth an hot stomack and liuer, represseth  

cholericke fumes, and raiseth vp the appetite, deiected through much  

heat, labour, or exercise: wherefore it is very profitable for hot and

cholericke bodies to be vsed in way of sauce, and for hot and  

cholericke diseases, in way of medicine; but it is hurtfull to the  

aged, and to all cold and phlegmaticke bodies. Eisell, or the vinegar  

which is made of Cyder, is also a good sauce: it is of a very  

penetrating nature, and is like to Verjuce in operation; but it is not

so astringent, nor altogether so cold.

 

from Via recta ad vitam longam by Venner, Tobias, 1520.

 

Johnnae

 

On Dec 6, 2010, at 11:57 AM, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:

<<< Verjuice very definitely can be made from crabapples (see Markham's

recipe), and I remember reading some reference to green wheat, but  

don't remember where. Of course, this could be one of those things  

where a scribal, textual, or translator's error is made and repeated  

over the centuries...

 

Adamantius >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 12:40:12 -0600 (CST)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Query about verjus...urgent!!

 

Sorrel has a green, "lemony" flavor--it's very tart, due to the high

oxalic acid content.

 

Margaret FitzWilliam

 

On Mon, 6 Dec 2010, Elaine Koogler wrote:

<<< So the original reference seems to be more to sorrel be used as an additive

to the verjuice? And possibly by extension maybe green wheat?  Wouldn't that

change the flavor substantially.  I can't imagine green wheat by itself

having an acidic enough.  I know when grain (rice) is added to tea it has

the effect of softening the green tea taste (gen maicha),  So I would

suspect that adding green wheat to verjuice would have the effect of

softening the acidic taste.  I'm not familiar with the taste of sorrel but

suspect it would be similar.

 

I also suspect that, though things like this may have been done in period,

they are not common practice today.  If I purchase verjuice, at least 99% of

it is probably made from green grapes...the remaining being possibly made

with crab apples.

 

So am I close to being accurate or have I missed something?

 

Kiri >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 13:36:05 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Query about verjus...urgent!!

 

<<< Got a question:  has anyone ever heard of verjus being either made out of,

or containing green wheat?  

Kiri >>>

 

Verjuice derives from the Old French "verd" which means both "unripe" and

"green" (as in the color green), as near as I can tell.

 

That being said, Taillevent says the following, "The following for a green

colour (or to give a tart taste):  parsley, herb bennet, sorrel, vine leaves

or vine shoots, currants, or green wheat in winter.  For steeping:  white

wine, verjuice, vinegar, water, greasy broth, cow's milk and almond milk."

(Sculley, The Viander of Taillevent)

 

I think that the verjus of green wheat may be referring to a green colored

juice rather than the verjus made of unripe fruit.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2010 14:39:11 -0700

From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Query about verjus...urgent!!

 

The Vatican Library MS of Viandier (my translation) gives green wheat (one

presumes the leaves) as a colourant not as a source of verjuice per se:

 

"159. Herbs for giving a green colour.

Parsley, avens, sorrel, vine leaf or shoots, gooseberry bush, and green wheat

in winter."

 

In an example that uses sorrel as both a colourant and flavouring, we see that

the sorrel leaves are strained out.  Some of the sourness from the sorrel, as

well as the green colour, will remain in the sauce.  Presumably something

similar would be done when using green wheat leaves as a colourant.

 

"216. Green Verjuice [Sauce].

Take sorrel including the stem, steep in some other verjuice, strain [through

cheesecloth], and add a bread crust so that it does not turn. (A 1490 printed

edition quoted by Pichon et al., p. 194.)"

 

Thorvald

 

 

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 20:02:00 -0700

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

On Mar 31, 2011, at 7:11 PM, Jim and Andi Houston wrote:

<<< Does anyone know if there is a significant taste difference between French

or American verjus/verjuice and the "sour grape juice" sold by Sadaf and

other Persian and Turkish brands? The Sadaf sour grape juice is 1/5th the

price of the verjuice. I'm doing a feast next month and need to order quite

a bit of it.

 

Madhavi >>>

 

Each of the brands have a significant difference in their flavor profile.

Some are sweeter than others.

Some really sour.

Some only a bit sour.

 

We are doing a verjuice tasting at the Culinary Symposium in AnTir in a few weeks.

 

I will take notes on peoples reactions and let you know what we all think.

 

Eduardo

 

 

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 23:21:49 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

<<< Does anyone know if there is a significant taste difference between French

or American verjus/verjuice and the "sour grape juice" sold by Sadaf and

other Persian and Turkish brands? The Sadaf sour grape juice is 1/5th the

price of the verjuice. I'm doing a feast next month and need to order quite

a bit of it.

 

Madhavi >>>

 

I don't know if there is a difference, but sour grape juice is what

we normally use.

--

David Friedman

www.daviddfriedman.com

daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

 

 

Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2011 18:16:10 +1300

From: Antonia di B C <dama.antonia at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

On 1/04/2011 3:11 PM, Jim and Andi Houston wrote:

<<< Does anyone know if there is a significant taste difference between French

or American verjus/verjuice and the "sour grape juice" sold by Sadaf and

other Persian and Turkish brands? The Sadaf sour grape juice is 1/5th the

price of the verjuice. I'm doing a feast next month and need to order quite

a bit of it. >>>

 

I don't know about the brands you've seen, but I've bought Persian sour

grape juice that was labelled 'verjuice' and certainly seemed to be

verjuice.

--

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

 

 

Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 14:24:32 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

The only recipe I know of for making verjuice, from a 17th century

English cookbook, I think May, uses crabs.

 

Meaning crab apples.

--

David Friedman

www.daviddfriedman.com

daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

 

<<< That is what I use and is completely period.  I cook Renaissance

Italian and that is the verjuice they use in the Banchetti (1549).

A sour apple juice (and other kinds of sour fruit or berries) would

be used more often in Northern Europe, but both

are period.

 

                                         Master B >>>

 

 

Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 20:50:51 -0700

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

Hmm I don't have De Honesta at hand (I am out of the country) but I think there might be instructions on making wine based verjuice in the first five chapters. Also Thorvald would know for sure but I think there is also a recipe in the early French Corpus.

 

Eduardo

 

On Apr 1, 2011, at 2:24 PM, David Friedman wrote:

<<< The only recipe I know of for making verjuice, from a 17th century English cookbook, I think May, uses crabs.

 

Meaning crab apples. >>>

 

 

Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 23:59:08 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

Madhavi wrote:

<<< Does anyone know if there is a significant taste difference between French

or American verjus/verjuice and the "sour grape juice" sold by Sadaf and

other Persian and Turkish brands? The Sadaf sour grape juice is 1/5th the

price of the verjuice. I'm doing a feast next month and need to order quite

a bit of it. >>>

 

My experience with several brands of American verjus vs. Arabic sour grape juice is that verjus is far less harsh.

 

One California brand (which i can't find any more... Consortio? or something like that) i found actually drinkable... but then i don't like things very sweet. Others have not been exactly drinkable, but had a nice balance between sour and fruity.

 

The Arabic sour grape juice - abghurah -- and i used two different brands, was extremely harsh, and i mean, extremely! No balance of sour and fruity there, just acidic and acrid. I did find that after sitting in the back of my fridge for a year or so, the remainder (about 2/3 of a bottle) mellowed so that it had that sour/fruity balance, and did not feel like varnish remover anymore, although i would not call it drinkable. I don't know how it would compare to the sour grape juice in the Medieval period.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 00:25:42 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 11:50 PM, David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com> wrote:

<<< Hmm I don't have De Honesta at hand (I am out of the country) but I think

there might be instructions on making wine based verjuice >>>

 

Wine-based? Or grape-based (versus apple-based)?  Sour wine is vinegar.

Verjus is the juice of unripened grapes.

 

The Obra de Agricultura by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera (16th c. Spanish

agricultural manual) has a short chapter on preserving verjus (agraz).

He says to take the grapes when they are big and sour, before they

begin to ripen.  Crush them in a stone mortar, add a little salt, and

leave them in the sun for 2 or 3 days.  Store the juice in a glass or

glazed vessel.  Herrera says that some people don't add salt, but salt

preserves the verjus better.  Some people add a little oil for the

same purpose.

 

Herrera says that verjus is better tasting and healthier than vinegar.

What I find amusing is that he says that it's useful in regions where

oranges don't grow or are hard to obtain -- bitter orange juice being

one of the most popular sour ingredients in late-period Spain.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 21:31:53 -0700

From: David Walddon <david at vastrepast.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

Sorry I meant grape based.

I had a long drive today with two kids in the car and a ferry ride from HELL!

 

Sour wine is not vinegar it is sour wine.

Wine fermented by vinegar bugs is vinegar.

Sounds like Herrera has a verjuice recipe (along with how to preserve it!).

 

Eduardo

 

 

Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2011 13:39:39 -0700

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] sour grape juice vs. verjus?

 

Some verjus is bottled for drinking, like Navarro in a regular wine bottle.  It is very tart, but really quite nice over ice.  The Napa Valley Verjus Co. verjus came in an asceptic carton and was more appropriate for cooking even though they had a drink suggestion on the box.  Yup, lots of difference.  

 

Katira

 

From: david at vastrepast.com

<<< Each of the brands have a significant difference in their flavor profile.

Some are sweeter than others.

Some really sour.

Some only a bit sour.

 

We are doing a verjuice tasting at the Culinary Symposium in AnTir in a few weeks.

 

I will take notes on peoples reactions and let you know what we all think.

 

Eduardo >>>

 

 

Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 14:26:12 -0700

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Wine from Navarro

 

I like the verjus from Navarro.   It comes in wine bottles like their wine grape juices and it makes a very nice cold beverage when served with lots of ice. I've tasted the mustard, nice, but nothing special.  OT, I am partial to the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout Mustard ($8 last time I bought some) from Anderson Valley Brewing, which is located in Booneville just down the road from Philo and the Navarro Winery.  Recently made a trip to stock up at both places.  Just lucky they are in the neighborhood!

 

Katira

 

From: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com:

================================

Alys K. said:

<<< Should any of you be aficionados of Edelzwicker wine or

Pinot Grigio, Navarro Vineyards has a one-cent ground shipping "sale"

going on right now until July 31 or sold out. Details at

http://www.navarrowine.com/casespecials/ . Got some verjus that way and

it was thoroughly packed! >>>

 

Unfortunately, it looks like that 1 cent shipping sale is only good on

'cases' of wine or verjuice.

 

I thought I might want to try their verjuice and maybe their mustard,

but the shipping on a single bottle of verjuice is more than the cost

of the verjuice! And I don't think I could use a case of verjuice,

even if the special included the verjuice, which I'm not sure it does.

 

They say this about the mustard. Is this correct? I don't remember

any medieval recipes using verjuice, but I may not be remembering

correctly. It does sound like an interesting item to try. I can go

through a lot of mustard, though. $17 per jar could get expensive,

though. :-(

 

<<< The name mustard derives from the Latin words mustum (unfermented

grape juice) and ardens (burning or fiery). Navarro's Medieval mustard

is made in the ancient manner by mixing the hot seeds with the green

must of Verjus. Mustard seeds and green grapes for Verjus are both

harvested in late summer and have been blended for centuries. This is

a coarse, savory mustard that will mind you of the origins of the more

modern versions.

Contains: Mustard seed, Navarro Verjus (contains sulfites), water,

salt, spice.

 

$12.00. 8.5 oz. >>>

 

Stefan

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 11:30:25 -0500

From: Sharon Palmer <ranvaig at columbus.rr.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Rumpolt recipe for making Verjuice

 

I found a recipe for making verjuice in Rumpolt, at the end of another recipe.

 

Kalb 47.  To make warm meatball pie.  Take veal/ and chop it with

beef fat/ and first chop the meat very smal/ and when it is chopped

small/ and you will have it soft/ then take a white weck bread/ and

soak it in a cold water/ and when it is well soaked/ then take it out

of the water/ and press it out well/ and chop it with the meat/ that

the bread disappears into the meat/ and when it is chopped small/

then put it together/ and chop it again/ that the fat also disappears

into it/ if you have no fat/ then chop bacon in it/ and when it all

is chopped together/ then take with it spice/ eggs/ pepper and

saffron/ chop it together also/ that it also disappears/ was the

hands/ and make meatballs/ that are nicely round/ when you have

driven a pie out/ then lay them in it/ set in an oven and bake it/

and when you want to dress it/ then cut it open/ then you will soon

see/ if there is much fat in it or not/ if there is much fat in it/

then skim it away/ and then pour in a little beef broth/ or make a

sour broth with an egg yolk/ or take a verjuice water into it in

place of the vinegar.

 

--- directions for making verjuice!

 

However if you want to prepare it (the verjuice)/ that it keeps a

whole year long/ pull the untimely (unripe) grapes off from the

stems/ and put them in a clean sack/ and tie it closed/ put it in a

press/ and press it out well/ and make much or little/ put it in a

small wooden cask/ also take whole unripe grapes in it/ and when you

seal it on both ends/ then pour the verjuice water in it/ through the

bung hole put a handful of salt in it/ and close the bung/ and check

it often/ that it does not become moldy/ and that the bung stays

always tight/ then it keep a whole year/ If you will take from it/

then make a small tap in the bottom/ and when you let the water out/

and the cask is not full/ then pour a little olive oil in it/ then it

will not mold/ and not develop a skin on it/ because the oil float

over the top. Then you can take out the grapes (Agrastbeern)/ or the

water (the verjuice)/ and may use it for all sorts of chicken

(poultry)/ for mutton or lamb/ is is good in various ways/ be it for

chicken/ or all sorts of meat pies/ especially those make from young

meat/ then it is sumptuous and good.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 12:18:11 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Rumpolt recipe for making Verjuice

 

Ranvaig wrote:

<<< One thing I found interesting is that it is pretty heavily salted, I

wouldn't have assumed that.

Are modern verjuices salted? >>>

 

None of the several different brands made here in California that i've ever purchased - and i found both red and white.

 

I didn't notice salt on the label of the Australian verjus i've seen in "gourmet" stores, but never bought.

 

And there's no salt in any of the Middle Eastern sour grape juices (abghoureh in Persian, hisrim in Arabic) i've gotten, although maybe that doesn't exactly count, coming from non-European cultures.

 

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona some how persistently called Anahita

 

 

From the Facebook "Medieval & Renaissance Cooking and Recipes" group on 9/17/13:

 

Channon Russette-Mondoux

I've recently made a batch of verjuice from grapes harvested in late July (at least that was my recollection of the period notation-) however I can't for the life of me find that reference- the reference mentioned harvesting at the height of the Dog Star of July.............anyone?

              

Sharon Ann Palmer

Rumpolt has a recipe for verjuice tacked onto the end of a veal recipe. It says to use "die vnzeitigen Trauben" the untimely or unripe grapes.


September 17 at 2:11pm

              





Urtatim Al-Qurtubiyya

I suspect local shoppers thought i was crazy some years ago the first time i saw our Berkeley Bowl had sour grapes, i was jumping up and down and crowing to my friend, "Look! They have sour grapes!" I'm sure most shoppers had no idea what could be done with them.


September 17 at 8:28pm

 

<the end>



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