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Verjus by Bourgoin Cognac is a natural acidifier produced locally in France. Acidic grape juice from early harvests. Used in the kitchen or at the bar as a substitute for lemon and vinegar. This biodynamic verjus has a mild acidity perfect for using when cooking fish and chicken dishes or making cocktails.
An old condiment
Verjus or 'verjuice' takes its name from the French ('vert jus' or 'green juice') and is made from pressed unripe grapes. Widely used by the Romans and in the Middle Ages as a condiment and cooking ingredient, it was also well-known for its health benefits first mentioned in the medieval handbook on wellbeing, called the Tacuinum Sanitatis. This has been backed up by recent modern-day medical research which has found that verjus' rich source of flavonoids and phenolic acids can help stimulate the immune system, lower the incidence of strokes, reduce cholesterol levels and prevent liver inflammation.
Verjus has a tart character with a higher pH than both vinegar and lemon juice. Like wine, it derives its tartness from tartaric acid, so doesn't distort the flavours of wine and its influence over a dish is far more subtle than some vinegars or citrus juices. So, it is perfect as a gentle acidulant when other products may be too acidic. It has myriad kitchen uses - perfect for poaching chicken, fish or figs, and adding to roast pork juices when making a gravy. It also makes a beautiful granita, sorbet or posset.
How to use
- Poach chicken, pears or dried fruit with some verjus and herbs.
- Use as a dressing for tomato or cucumber salads.
- Drizzle over freshly shucked oysters.
- Deglaze, pan juices when cooking pork or game.
- Try in cocktails, sorbets and puddings.
- Add, ice and mineral water for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.
Established on the Premiers Bois, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois vineyards of the town of Saint-Saturnin in Charente, the family-run Bourgoin Cognac estate crafts a “natural” cognac, devoid of any blending, filtering, colouring or added sugar.
“I am fond of saying that we turn mud into light. We start off with something earthy, thick and raw to obtain a delicate, elegant and clear brandy, which will become golden and light with the passing years”.