The Great Australian Cookbook

Maggie Beer finally explains verjuice

Maggie Beer has been bottling verjuice since 1984. Over 30 years later, most of us still don't know how to use it! Watch Maggie set the record straight.

You'd be forgiven for thinking Maggie Beer invented verjuice. (We know. She's pretty incredible.) However, verjuice has been around for thousands of years as a staple of Mediterranean cooking.

In fact, it's so common that Maggie reckons "wherever there are grapes, there's verjuice."

While she didn't invent it, Maggie did do something remarkable with verjuice. She was the first person in the entire world to figure out how to bottle the product for commercial sale. In doing so, she resurrected the medieval recipe, bringing it to modern mouths worldwide.

If you've ever bought or received a bottle and you still don't know what to do with it, let Maggie help you out.

What is verjuice?

Verjuice is the juice of unripe grapes. You may also know it by the French name, 'verjus'. 

Prior to Maggie's recipe, the problem was making sure the grapes didn't continue to ferment - as they do with wine - in their sealed packaging, which would literally make those pretty glass bottles explode.

How do I use it?

Maggie describes verjuice as "a gentle acid". For this reason, many have found it useful in making fresh and subtle salad dressings, but it has far more, lesser-known uses.

Maggie uses it just about everything. It goes in her bread, her pavlova and help her poach eggs.

It can also be used as a non-alcoholic substitute for white wine in sauces and dressings, or to deglaze pots and pans. 

Recipes using verjuice

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