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Petimezi: Grape Syrup Recipe

Prep time – 30 min
Cook time – 60 min
Makes – 1.5 gal

Enjoy this syrup or molasses over breads, yogurt, ice cream, waffles, pancakes, and so much more. This delicious and nutritious sweetener has been used in the island of Crete (Greece) for thousands of years. It is a very ancient remedy for colds and sore throats, in baking, and just eating on its own. On the island, Petimezi is made in abundance during the early fall when the grapes are harvested for reduction, to use during the year ahead. These ingredients may not be readily available to you, but it is good to know in case.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup wood ash
  • 65 lbs pale white grapes on the stem
  • Rose-scented geranium leaves (for storing purposes)

How to Make it From Scratch

  • Once you have acquired the ingredients, work in medium batches.
  • In a large tub, use a grape press to squeeze the juice from the grapes until completely drained.
  • Strain the grapes and all squeezed juice for collection in a large vat or pot that can hold twice as much as each batch.
  • Toss out leftover skin, leaves, stems, seeds, and flesh leftover.
  • Prepare 1 gallon of juice in a container and add 4 TBSP of wood ash to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Once the juice begins to froth, strain the juice through a tulle into a bowl and throw away ash left behind.
  • Then cook the juice to a boil, about 2 quarts at a time. Then set the burner to the lowest setting for 1 hour, uncovered.
  • It will froth up again; just remove the top layer as it forms.
  • Once the reddish-brown syrup is complete, it should be thin like thin maple syrup. Enjoy!