[LMB] neener OT:

Susan Fox-Davis selene at earthlink.net
Mon, 09 Aug 2004 10:24:05 -0700

>> The "mystery ingredients" that not everyone else knows: verjus, which is
>> juice of unripe grapes.  Nice and tart but not as sour as vinegar.

>Juice of unripe grapes? How unripe? I have bunches of unripe grapes in my
>yard, that are EXTREMELY green (when ripe, they're purple, they are weeks
>and weeks away from ripeness.]

Developed sufficiently to have a fair amount of juice in them. Cute li'l nubs won't do the job.

>They will still be unripe grapes at the time of Noreascon, should I bring
>some to the convention for Listie parties?? The thought of presenting Lois
>with a bunch of underripe grapes....

Well... why not?  Or squish them on-site and use them in a crock-pot stew.

My friend Lori knew she was in with the right foodie crowd when one day, when munching from a bunch of grapes in a fruit bowl, she chomped on a sour one and cried out "Verjus!"  And we all understood what she meant. The geekier you are, the greater the need to be understood.  [[[hugs]]]

> verjus = ver + jus I take it, from verte = green and jus = juice?


>>I Frequently available bottled in Middle Eastern markets.  Diluted wine
>> vinegar plus wine would make an adequate substitute.  Actually, this would
>> be the season for unripe grapes ...

>What's involved, just smushing them up? 

The bottled stuff is properly juiced and strained.  Leaving grape skins would add a certain texture which you might or might not want.

>> Grains of Paradise, aka Malaqueta Pepper:  there's nothing like it. It's a

>What spice is this, though?  "Szechuan pepper" is actually a member of the
>citrus family, and since it is a vector for citrus canker which has
>destroyed many groves of Florida oranges, there is a ban on it in the USA.
>There is a native tree, the prickly ash, which is a close relative and which
>the fruit supposedly can be used from as a substitute if you can find it....
>there are discussions in various places online about it.

Nonono, not the same critter at all. Aframomum melegueta is a member of the Zingeber family [Ginger].  Quite trendy during the Middle Ages, now almost exclusively used in West African cookery.  They are imported from Ghana to many online spice merchants.  You are referring to Zanthoxylum piperitum, which is not obtainable in the USA as you say.  Neither of these is related to either Black Pepper or Capsicum Pepper.

An excellent data source on all kinds of spices:
Gernot Katzer's Spice Dictionary

Bon Appetit!
Susan Fox-Davis / Ma Foxti
selene at earthlink.net