From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,380 kJ (330 kcal)
80.9 g
0.4 g
0.9 g
74 mg
1.2 mg
40 mg

Varkazas, p. 203
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Petimezi (Greek: πετιμέζι Greek pronunciation: [petiˈmezi]), also called epsima (έψημα) and in English grapemust or grape molasses, is grape must reduced until it becomes dark and syrupy.

Petimezi keeps indefinitely. Its flavor is sweet with slight bitter undertones. There are light colored syrups and dark colored ones, depending on the grapes used.

Names and etymology[edit]

The ancient Greek name was ἕψημα, literally 'boiled'.[1] That name was used in Crete and, in modern times, in Cyprus.[2]

The word petimezi comes from Turkish pekmez which normally refers to grape molasses, but may also refer to mulberry and other fruit molasses.[3][4]


The ancient physicians Hippocrates of Kos and Galen both discuss epsima.[5] Pliny the Elder states that it was also referred to as siraion (Greek: "σίραιον" ).[6][7]

The Romans classified reduced must as sapa or hepsema (boiled down to one third), defrutum (boiled down to one half), and carenum (boiled down to two thirds).[8][7]


Before the wide availability of cheap cane sugar, common sweeteners in Greek cooking were petimezi, carob syrup, and honey.

Petimzei is used in deserts when cooking and also as a sweet topping for some foods. It is still used today, and can be homemade[9][10] but is also sold commercially under different brand names.

From late August until the beginning of December, dark crunchy and fragrant petimezi cookies, moustokouloura (Greek: μουστοκούλουρα), are made. Most Greek bakeries sell moustokoúloura, and each baker has its own recipe for the cookies, that can be either small and hard, or large and crumbly.

Petimezopita (Greek: πετιμεζόπιτα) is a spiced cake with petimezi, which tastes like a cross between carrot cake and gingerbread.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon s.v.
  2. ^ "Έψημα". (in Greek). Cyprus Food Virtual Museum. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Dictionary of the Türk Dil Kurumu [1]
  4. ^ A.D. Alderson and Fahir İz, The Concise Oxford Turkish Dictionary
  5. ^ Jacques Jouanna Greek Medicine from Hippocrates to Galen: Selected Papers, 2012, p. 190. ISBN 978 90 04 20859 9
  6. ^ The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon s.v.
  7. ^ a b Pliny the Elder, The Natural History 14:11]
  8. ^ Defrutum
  9. ^ Nancy Gaifyllia. "Naturally Sweet Grape Syrup - Petimezi - Greek Recipe for Grape Molasses". Food. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Petimezi - Greek Grape Syrup". Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  11. ^ Nancy Gaifyllia. "Petimezopita Grape Molasses Spice Cake Recipe - Greek Desserts and Cake Recipes". Food. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Theodoros Varzakas, Athanasios Labropoulos, Stylianos Anestis, eds., Sweeteners: Nutritional Aspects, Applications, and Production Technology, 2012, ISBN 143987672X, p. 201ff.
  • Harris, Andy Modern Greek: 170 Contemporary Recipes from the Mediterranean. Chronicle Books, 2002. ISBN 0-8118-3480-8 ISBN 978-0-8118-3480-3

External links[edit]