Swiss Food: How to Make Raisinée

Published by Thursday, January 16, 2014 Permalink 0

Jonell Galloway, The Rambling EpicureSwiss Food: Raisinée: The History and the Recipe

by Jonell Galloway

The Vaudois word raisinée refers to a syrup made of the must of apples and pears. It was originally cooked in grape juice, thus the name — raisin means grape in French. Often called vin cuit, or “cooked wine”, it is in the form of a dark brown, viscous liquid. In still other parts of Switzerland, another concoction similar in consistency to jam and using the same ingredients is called cougnarde and probably dates back to at least the Middle Ages. Raisinée was used as a sweetener in many regions in Europe, and the tradition has lingered in Switzerland, especially in the cantons of Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchâtel. Today, it is mainly used for cakes and pies, and is not fermented, so it not technically a wine.

Pouring Raisinée, BW Photo

History

In the 17th century, raisinée meant a thick fruit jam, generally made of apples and pears, and slow-cooked in concentrated grape juice. According to the Encyclopédie d’Yverdon, published in the 1770s, raisinée was made from the must of very ripe green grapes cooked until reduced by two thirds, then kept in barrels. Drinking it was said to give energy to people of a frail nature.

Cooking Raisinée over a wood fire, CaveSA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raisinée is no longer drunk as a cooked or fortified wine, although in the 18th century one finds recipes for fruit must syrup made from apples and pears (dropping the use of grape juice) and used to replace sugar. Like today, the apple and pear juice was cooked until thick, until a drop on a plate didn’t run anymore. During periods of scarcity and hardship — for example, during and after World War II when sugar was low or not available — it was and still is used as a sweetener.

Cantons like Fribourg and the Vaud have kept up the tradition more than elsewhere, partially because they have a history of orchards. Recipes had been maintained and they were brought back to life in the 1980s.

Traditions similar to this were to be found in Mesopotamia and Ancient Rome.

Recipe

Use apples and pears not suitable for eating. The fruit shouldn’t be overly ripe. You should be able to crush it and press it, but it mustn’t turn into a purée. The juice is filtered to get rid of hard bits. It is then decanted overnight (no more).

Unlike industrial fruit concentrates, the juice is not clarified. It is simply brought to a boil in a large copper kettle over a wood fire. Try to use up any bits of wood not suitable for a regular fire. A coil-type steam burner can be used to prevent risk of overheating, especially when making large quantities.

Cooking Raisinée over a Wood Fiare
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The Many Colors of Corn: A Photo Essay

Published by Friday, July 5, 2013 Permalink 0


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English: Black corn Español: Maíz morado

English: Black corn Español: Maíz morado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cobs of corn

English: Cobs of corn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Green Oaxaca corn Français : Maïs ver...

English: Green Oaxaca corn Français : Maïs vert d’Oaxaca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

red corn on the cob

red corn on the cob (Photo credit: MelanieAnneMarie)

Red corn, blue corn and cucumber seeds for sal...

Red corn, blue corn and cucumber seeds for sale in Fresno, California… (Photo credit: Nate Gray: A Culinary (Photo) Journal)

Blue Corn

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English: From left to right, haba beans, haba ...

English: From left to right, haba beans, haba beans, blue corn and white corn for sale at a tianguis market in Metepec, Mexico State. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boy in corn field, Woodbine, New Jersey

Boy in corn field, Woodbine, New Jersey (Photo credit: Center for Jewish History, NYC)

Public relations of high-fructose corn syrup

Public relations of high-fructose corn syrup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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English: A display of six ears of field corn with dented yellow kernels (Zea mays var. indentata) which won ribbons for “best of show” at the Steele County Fair in Owatonna, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Simon Says: Daily Food Quote, May 10, 2013

Published by Friday, May 10, 2013 Permalink 0

Simon Says: Daily Food Quote, May 10, 2013

by Simón de Swaan

A good cook is the peculiar gift of the gods. He must be a perfect creature from the brain to the palate, from the palate to the finger’s end.–Walter Savage Landor

Walter Savage Landor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Savage Landor was an English writer and poet who lived from 1775–1864. He wrote in both English and Latin, but much preferred Latin, which put him at a disadvantage in terms of readership. His best known works were the prose Imaginary Conversations, “five volumes of imaginary conversations between personalities of classical Greece and Rome: poets and authors; statesmen and women; and fortunate and unfortunate individuals” (Wikipedia), and the poem “Rose Aylmer,” but the critical acclaim he received from poets and reviewers such as John Milton, T.S. Eliot, and John Butler Yeats was not matched by public popularity.

 

 

 

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Food News Daily: August 23, 2011

Published by Tuesday, August 23, 2011 Permalink 0

Mainstream Anglo Media and Press

The wonderful chef, restaurateur, and leader o...

Alice Waters, founder of American Slow Food Movement & Owner of Chez Panisse, which Turns 40 Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 40th Birthday Chez Panisse: Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse built on simple success, San Francisco Chronicle

Fish kill cleanup a smelly job after Louisiana paper mill spill, Reuters

Japanese cuisine is loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, The Times of India

Preaching a Healthy Diet in the Deep-Fried Delta, The New York Times

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French Food Quote: Daily Food Quote, August 22, 2011

Published by Monday, August 22, 2011 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

Thus it is Gastronomy, to tell the truth, which motivates the farmers, fineyardists, fishermen, hunters, and the great family of cooks, no matter under what names or qualifications they may disguise their part in the preparation of foods.–Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)
The Physiology of Taste (1825)

 

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