10 Foods that Are in Season in the Fall

Crisp grapes are many people's favorite part of fall.
Crisp grapes are many people's favorite part of fall.

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.

Fresh grapes are easily enjoyed out-of-hand or in fruit salads. Frozen, they're a healthful alternative to high-sugar, high-fat desserts. On the other hand, they also make good pies and jelly.

Our next food demonstrates the saying, "Good things come to those who wait."