Secondary Edibles: Making Verjus from Grape Vine Thinnings
My MiL’s grape vines are coming in beautifully, but she doesn’t have time to get into the finer details of pruning for production. The Hubs and I decided to help out by removing some of the weaker vines and leaves to promote circulation and general plant health. Not wanting to waste these baby grapes, I discovered you can upcycle these into something called verjus (or verjuice.)
Verjuice is made from pressed unripened grapes and has been used by various cultures (i.e. Europe, Middle East) throughout history as a souring agent - an alternative to vinegars or citrus fruits. For experimentation, I threw my grapes into the juicer which produced a lovely matcha green elixir, which quickly faded into a swampy yellow due to oxidation.
Believe it or not, the juice, while tart, was also fruity, floral, delicate and pleasant. (Note that different grapes will yield different flavor profiles.) I made a shirazi salad with the verjuice and it was legit! I would have never thought of the culinary potential of sour grapes, but apparently, you can buy a high-end filtered and bottled verjus.
So, you should ever find yourself in possession of a bunch of grape thinnings, consider upcycling them into a useful ingredient in the kitchen~