[Sca-cooks] Verjuice was Re: Next project, next recipe II.Ambroyno- price questions

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Feb 20 22:43:02 PST 2010

On Feb 21, 2010, at 1:19 AM, yaini0625 at yahoo.com wrote:

> If I am understanding correctly, verjuice is primarily green grapes or crabapples juiced to make a bitter liquid?

More sour/tangy than bitter. Also made from green wheat, I STR.

> This was different from vinegar?

Yes, the flavor profile is different. Verjuice is mostly acids present in the source fruit/vegetable product, more pronounced in the comparative absence of sugars.

Vinegar is made through a bacterial conversion of sugars and alcohol in wine to acetic acid. Both products have a sour flavor, but one is stuff like ascorbic and citric acid plus a little sugar, just not enough to ferment or taste sweet, while the other is acetic acid, maybe some lactic acid on the side, and water, and less sugar.

> Was verjuice used as a flavoring or preservative?

Primarily as a flavoring and as a food additive used for essentially medicinal purposes.

> As Thorvald mentioned gooseberry and sorrel is used for bitter flavoring. Are we talking about Viking food?

I'm not sure about gooseberries, but sorrel has ascorbic and, I believe, oxalic acid. It acts as a flavoring and color additive to verjuice (see le Menagier). It can also be used on its own for its tangy flavor (hence the country name, sourgrass).

> The Saami aka Laplanders use sorrel and angelica as flavoring and as a preservative for reindeer milk. But this wouldn't be considered verjuice? 

The trouble is that verjuice is normally a stock ingredient prepared in quantity, made for bottling or storing in casks. I'm not sure if that can easily be done with straight sorrel juice without much, and rapid, deterioration.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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