[Sca-Cooks] Verjus question

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Fri Jul 27 13:26:26 PDT 2007

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 

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 

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 


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