Thursday, July 9, 2009


Ever wondered why some grapes are sour and others are sweet? How many times have you been disappointed with your purchase, especially now when many retailers sell their fruit packaged and you're unable to sample the fruit first.

If you're able to sample the grapes from a fresh bunch before you buy and you're happy with the sweetness, please be considerate and buy the bunch you sampled. This will keep "shrink" costs down and allow the retailer to sell their fruit for less.

Green grapes should actually be "yellow" when they're ripe and supersweet. Retailers demand growers pick the fruit unripe and green to give them a better shelf life. Good for the retailer and bad for us. Most shoppers have been trained to buy green grapes "green".

If you have little the grapes green and hang them at home (i.e. - from the cupboard handle) at room temperature until they turn yellow and then refrigerate them. I love to eat grapes chilled.

Seeded grapes are best for your health, they're natural and have many nutrients that seedless grapes don't possess. Eat the seeds too. Contrary to what many parents believe...children do not habitually choke to death on grape seeds. Train your children while they're young to eat the seeds and they will grow up healthier. Seeded varieties are also sweeter. There are many studies available to internet saavy surfers that substaniate my claims.

I do eat seedless varieties of grapes when seeded aren't available. The sweetest common varieties in order are "Thompson Seedless", "Sugarone", and "Perlette". Perlettes are the first variety of the season in most growing regions and countries and are only sweet if they're yellow in color. The other 2 varieties can be green and already sweet and flavorful.

The sweetest seeded variety is the "muscat" also called "muscatel" or "italia"; and also used to make wines. This variety is the most popular and widely available most of the year in North America from Italy, California, Brazil, and Chile just to name a few countries.

When you're buying grapes they should not be sticky or syrupy, and they're shouldn't be more than a few loose grapes in the bags or clamshell. They should not smell like wine. The stems should be light brown or green in color depending on the variety, not shrivelled or black; this the the most important telling sign of the freshness that consumers overlook. Also, gently shake the bags to see if the grapes fall off. The fruit should not be brown at the stem where it's attached to the vine. The final test is gently squeezing the grapes between your thumb and index finger, the fruit should be firm not soft (sometimes Italias will be soft that's ok).

If you're still unsure, ask a Produce Clerk for help. If they're honest you've found a great place to buy your produce. Enjoy!



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