Grapes fall into three main color types: red, green (also called white) and black (or blue-black). Each group includes seeded and seedless varieties, but the latter prevail in supermarkets. The most popular are the green Thompson grape and its crossbred offspring, a red variety called Flame. These are undeniably sweet, but relatively tame in taste. If you're looking for something with more personality (and willing to swallow or spit out a few seeds), seek out these regional grapes:
- Concord. A black seeded or seedless grown mostly in northern New York and Southern Ontario, it has a distinctive taste of juice and jelly. Like most American grapes, Concords are slip-skins -- you squeeze out the berry and discard the skin.
- Muscat. This one's a green grape with a spicy, perfumy taste and aroma. Originally from sunny, southern Italy and France, American muscats thrive in sunny, southern California.
- Muscadine. A seeded, slip-skin native of Southeastern United States, most are black, but Scuppernong is a bronze variety. These large, fruity grapes grow in small clusters rather than bunches.
When buying grapes, look for fat berries on supple stems. Don't be discouraged by a powdery, matte finish -- that "bloom" is a natural look. Its presence means the bunch hasn't been handled intensively.
Our next food demonstrates the saying, "Good things come to those who wait."