Do You Know Nutrition: Must is first step in winemaking

Feb. 28, 2011 at midnight
Updated Feb. 28, 2011 at 9:01 p.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

I recently came across a Greek recipe for a dessert that calls for must. Can you please tell me what must is?

Must is the juice drawn from grapes during the wine-making process that has not yet been fermented into wine.

Must is actually the first step in winemaking and contains a very high level of glucose, which is why chefs use must as a sweetener. Must contains the seed, skin and stem of the grape.

You may be wondering why you could not just use grape juice? Grape juice is filtered and pasteurized whereas must is a thick, particulate matter and comes in various shades of purple and brown colors, depending on the quality.

I really enjoy your food trivia, but would like to be challenged with the answer. Can you do a trivia question where we guess the answer?

Put your thinking cap on. This product, as we know it today, came into being in 1902, but had existed in similar forms for many generations.

During the Christmas season of 1902, packaging became an important factor. It was designed with a string attached, so that it could be hung as a Christmas ornament.

In total, there have been more than 50 different varieties. Today however, there are currently 22 varieties.

More than 40 million of these packages are sold each year, and at the present time, they are exported to more than 17 foreign countries. They are produced at a rate of 12,000 per minute; 300,000 per work shift; and almost 8,000 miles of string are used on the packaging.

This product is produced in only one city in the United States.

Poet-philosopher Christopher Morley wrote a poem about them.

What is the name of this product? Drum roll, please. They are Barnum's Animal Crackers.

And here is an update: Of the 22 varieties, the dog and jaguar cookies have fallen to the hyena and gorilla-shaped cookies. The koala is the newest addition. It was voted on by consumers, which beat out the penguin, walrus and cobra.

The next free nutrition class will be held March 14, at Organic Emporium. Call today to make your reservation, 361-576-2100.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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