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Sapa is a syrupy sweetening agent made in Italy by simmering down grape juice to reduce its volume. In Italy today, it is called "Mosto Cotto" (cooked must.)

You may wish to compare Defritum, Caroenum, Sapa and Wine Syrup.

Cooking Tips

To make your own: Crush grapes. Put crushed grapes and their juice in a bowl, let sit uncovered for 24 hours. Strain and discard all the solids. Simmer until it has thickened to a syrup (this may take several hours), then bottle and refrigerate.

Storage Hints

Refrigerate purchased bottles after opening.

History Notes

Sapa was made by the Romans. Romans disagreed on how much reduction of volume was needed; some said you had to reduce the grape juice to 1/3 of its original volume, others said reducing it to 1/2 was enough to call it Sapa.

Columella says "sapa" was reduced by one-half: "Some people boil their must down by a quarter, that they have have put in lead vessels, others cook off a third of it, but without a doubt, if you cook of a half of it, a better sapa will be made." ("Quidam partem quartam eius musti, quod in vasa plumbea coniecerunt, nonnulli tertiam decoquunt; nec dubium quin, ad dimidiam si quis excoxerit, meliorem sapam facturus. De Re Rustica, Chapter 12, 19,1)

They often used Sapa along with verjuice to create a sweet-sour taste.

Language Notes

Also spelt "Saba" and "Sabba."

See also:

Grape Syrup

Caroenum; Defritum; Grape Syrup; Passum; Sapa; Wine Syrup

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Also called:

Raisiné (French)


Oulton, Randal. "Sapa." CooksInfo.com. Published 22 February 2006; revised 25 September 2007. Web. Accessed 03/19/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/sapa>.

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