Petimezi or grape must molasses is a sweet substance that we use a lot in Greece and generally all the countries who have been making wine since the olden days.
They made it through heating the must from the grapes.
Must (from the latin vinum mustum, “young wine” is freshly crushed fruit juice (usually grape juice) that contains the skins the seeds, the stems of the fruit. The solid portion of the must is called pomace and typically takes up 7-23% of the total weight of the must. Making must is the first step in winemaking.
Petimezi was cheap and easy to find and was used instead of sugar which was unknown years ago and when it was first brought to Greece was incredibly expensive.
It was also much cheaper than honey which was a sweetener that had been used since the ancient period.
I should note that it (Petimezi) was used as a cough syrup apart from a sweetener.
There is one bad thing about the Petimezi molasses. It has a very strong caramel taste. Logical, as it has been boiled for hours.
In order to use it as a Greek spoon sweet its fine but to put it in a cake mix wouldn’t be easy as it would mask all the other flavours in the mixture.
Petimezi is not a product I have used specifically that often but I use it for salad dressings and “mustokoulouro” which are biscuits, where you need to use grape must, which cannot be found all year round.
I went one day to the Mediterranean Diet Shop in Athens and I spoke to Giorgos there about Petimezi and Moustokouloura and he suggested I use the Petimezi from Karangelis and when I asked him why he replied it was made without using any heat…in other words they don’t boil it.. but let it heat up naturally (in the sun maybe?). And they use organic grapes to make it.
I tried it and was blown away with this Petimezi!
Light and with a fabulous taste, aromatic from the grapes and instead of overpowering the other ingredients in my recipes it completed the taste I was trying to achieve.
Since then I have been using it a lot and at some point at a food exhibition I met Giorgos Karangelis who makes it. He’s a chemist,
with a speciality in wine making and he has a laboratory testing the quality of wine and oil in Messinia and he is really passionate about the area and its products.
At some point I would like to visit Ancient Messinia and go and visit his laboratory there!
I hope I have created in you some curiosity to learn about this product..I just want to also reiterate that I am not paid to recommend products or people in my articles.
Anyway try it it’s worth it! Recently I put it in a banana cake and it was marvellous!