Grape Must

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

grape must is the unfermented juice of ripe grapes that comes off the wine press at the start of wine making. This juice is also used, boiled down to a third or a half of its original volume, to make mostocotto, sometimes called sapa or saba. The boiling process produces a rich, sweet syrup at little cost, used in the past as a substitute for honey or sugar. Some regional cuisines in Italy still use mostocotto in cookies and tarts. Versions of mostaccioli cookies from various regions include mostocotto, a practice that goes back to Roman times. In Emilia, the recipe for these spice cookies includes candied fruit; in Lazio, a seasoning of pepper; and in many areas, nuts or marzipan.