Grape syrup is one of the oldest sweeteners used by Europeans, long before the use of sugar has become generalized. It comes from the condensation, usually boiling, of grape juice (must), before the fermentation begins. It was known to both the ancient Greeks, who called it "epsima" (grape syrup) and to the Romans. Hippocrates, and later, Galilee, attributed to it healing properties as well. With variations in the manufacturing technique and raw material, as well as various names, among them the ancient Greek "epsima" that survives in the Cypriot dialect, the grape syrup is part of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food culture.