Verjus

verjus

About

Pronounced [vair-ZHOO], the term Verjus literally translates to "green juice". This acidic liquid is typically made from the juice of green grapes but it can also be made from other unripe fruits like crabapples. This ingredient dates back to medieval Europe but has recently gained increasing popularity in the U.S. The juice can be used in place of vinegar to add acidity to soups and sauces and dressings.

Verjus History

Verjus was commonly used in medieval European cooking and remained populargreen grapes throughout the 19th century (Davidson, Oxford Food Companion). However, in the west the use of lemon to add acidity to foods pretty much took over the culinary scene.

The production of verjus was a natural outgrowth of the wine growing regions of the world. The use of verjus was documented in Rome. In modern times as the U.S. has developed into a major winemaking force in the world we are now seeing the increasing production and use of verjus.

Middle Eastern countries produce and make verjus too. In Iran verjus known as abghooreh is made from tin unripe grapes gathered as the crop is thinned out. In Lebanon hosrum as it is called is used instead of lemon juice

Uses for Verjus

  • Use in any recipe that calls for lemon juice as a contrasting acid
  • Use in place of or in addition to broth or stock
  • Make a refreshing sorbet
  • Add to beverages (see recipes)
  • Use to deglaze your pan

Where To Buy

Gourmet Grocers -  As verjus has become more popular it is being carried by many stores that feature gourmet products.  Check with your local gourmet shop. 

Producers

  • Terra Sonoma Food Company - Alexander Valley, California.  Produce verjus from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbec.
  • Roland Foods-  Roland foods imports verjus from Europe.
  • Allandale Winery - Located in Sydney, Australia.
  • Fusion Verjus -  Produced in Napa Valley from includes grapes from Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot vineyards.
author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.