[Sca-Cooks] Verjus question

Olwen the Odd olwentheodd at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 27 06:36:13 PDT 2007

I love experiments.  I was probably one of the folks who repeatedly died 
early in previous lives because it.  Anyway, I used to buy bottles of 
something called Sour Grape Juice from the local (not so local any longer) 
Middle Eastern market.  I mentioned it on this list before and folks were 
under the impression that it could not be considered verjuice but that seems 
to be exactly what you are making here.  Didn't bother me, I used it as 
verjuice anyway.

>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 
>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 
>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 
>and blend.
>I wonder if they did something to keep it since so many recipes call for 
>If it had no keeping properties they would only have had it for a short 
>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 
>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?
> >
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