[Sca-Cooks] Verjus question

Wanda Pease wandap at hevanet.com
Thu Jul 26 19:24:24 PDT 2007

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?

> 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?

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list