Grape Juice and Semolina Sweets

These shaped pieces of grape juice and semolina make a tasty teatime snack. Very easy and cheap to make when you have grapes growing all around you, they are always popular with adults and children. Buying 2 litres ( pints) grape juice is quicker, but doesn't have the same appeal as using and crushing your own grapes. If you want to make the vino cotto in advance, it can be bottled and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. You need at least 3.5 kg (8 lb) of grapes.


  • about 225 g (8 oz) fine semolina coloured dragees or vermicelli, to decorate

Vino Cotto

  • 4 large bunches sweet white grapes
  • 4 large bunches sweet black grapes


First make the vino cotto. Squeeze the grapes with your hands or a mouli to extract all the juice, then filter it through muslin to obtain a clear liquid. Put it into a pan (not aluminium) and boil it slowly for several hours, stirring often with a spoon until it is thick and stickily runny like honey.

Boil the vino cotto and trickle the semolina into it like a fine rain, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. When it is completely thick and lump-free, tip it out on to a marble top which has been dampened with cold water and spread it out with a spatula to a 1-3 cm (½ –1¼ inch) thickness. Leave to go cold.

Cut it into different shapes with pastry cutters. Decorate with coloured dragees or vermicelli and serve 2 or 3 shapes per person. Do not store.