Agresto Grape Must Condiment
Tuscan-Style Worcestershire Sauce
Agresto is a condiment made with Tuscan green grape must, honey and spices. In Renaissance times, agresto was a product that every farmer would make during the grape-growing season. It is said to have been used more often than vinegar or any other condiment.
This Tuscan condiment begins with the unripe green grapes that are pruned from the vine in summer. The grapes are pressed and the resulting must is simmered in large stainless steel pots for hours, until it achieves the desired thickness. Next, a good amount of honey, vinegar, onion, garlic, herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed and pepper are all mixed in and allowed to steep until the mixture is cool. Then the agresto is gently filtered, bottled and stored in a cool cellar to stabilize.
Think of Agresto as a Tuscan Worcestershire sauce. Use it to make a delicious Bloody Mary, to sprinkle over a roasted rack of pork, to deglaze the pan from any roast, and to give a sparkle of brightness and flavor to soups and egg dishes. Mixed with olive oil, agresto makes a wonderful dip for artichoke leaves or crudités or a sauce for braised greens.
About Castello di Sonnino:
An imposing tower built over the Arno valley in the 1200s commands the fortified villa that Baron Alessandro and Baroness Caterina de Renzis Sonnino call home. In addition to being an important historical setting, the Castello di Sonnino estate includes a working fattoria (farm) on gentle rolling hills covered with vineyards, olive groves, wheat and pasture fields. The Baron and Baroness decided last year to re-introduce a product with a long history in the area: Agresto.
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