Most of us know grapes, but there is a lot more to this fruit than what you see in the produce section and wine shop, given the sheer volume of variety in these juicy orbs that were eaten and pressed into beverages.
Grapes are also high in antioxidants, which help protect cells in the body from oxidative stress and reduce cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Darker grapes, such as Concord and purple varieties, are particularly high in antioxidants.
Grapes have been grown domestically for thousands of years, with the trade beginning in the Middle East in places like Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, and Turkey, to name a few. Another interesting fact: according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 70 percent of the grapes grown in the world are used to make wine. And, while the Vitaceae family contains an estimated 10,000 different types of grapes, only about 1,300 of these are used in winemaking.
Thompson Seedless is another name for Sultana. These are small white grapes from the Ottoman Empire. They are small, oval-shaped grapes with high sugar content. When these grapes are dried, the sugar condenses and gives them a raisin flavor. Next time you see a darker-colored raisin, just assume it’s a Sultana variety.
2. Cotton Candy
This grape variety does not look like cotton candy, but it tastes like cotton candy in a natural and healthy form. They are grown in Central California and have a season that runs from mid-August to late September.
3. Crimson Seedless
Crimson Seedless grapes are a popular grape variety that can be found all over the world. They have a long shelf life and are sweet and firm. They have a pleasant tartness that helps to keep the juiciness alive. They are a light brick red with greenish streaks.
Lemberger, also known as blaufrankisch, is a grape variety used to produce dark tannic wines with subtle spice notes. These grapes have a dusty blue color and a tannic berry aroma. They originated in Wurttemberg, a wine region of Germany, but in recent years, New York and British Columbia have begun to grow this variety as well.
Concord grapes are sweet, bright, and bursting with dark grape flavor. They have large seeds and easy-to-peel skins. They also have a wonderful aroma. Typically, they are available from August to September.
6. Moon Balls
Moon Ball grapes are round, green hybrid grapes with thick, supple skin. The flavor is a little sweeter than the other varieties. They are only grown in certain areas of South Africa, so production is limited.
Kyoho is large grapes grown in Japan. They are as large as a plum and the largest grapes that can be found. Kyoho is a Japanese word that means Giant Mountain Grape. These grape varieties were developed in the 1930s as a cross between Centennial and Ishiharawase. They are served for dessert and juices and have a large inedible seed.
Champagne is yet another grape variety, but it should not be confused with the grapes used to make sparkling wine. Zante Currant is its official name, and it is also known as Black Corinth. They are originally from Asia and are widely grown in the United States and Europe. They are small, about the size of a pea, and are used by chefs to decorate a plate. They’re tender and delicious.
9. Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is used in the production of wine. The French popularised it, but growers all over the world now cultivate it. This grape is also used in the production of champagne. They taste like ripe cherry and strawberry. They are primarily grown in California, Oregon, New Zealand, and France.
10. Moon Drops
Moon Drops are elongated purple-skinned grapes that have only recently entered the market. Dr. David Cain, a scientist, and plant breeder created it. The flesh of these grapes is crunchy and firm, making them ideal for storing for several days. Their flavor is not overly sweet, but rather similar to grape jelly.
Resveratrol is available as a supplement, but grapes also provide fiber and a variety of minerals and vitamins. Because they provide fiber and other nutrients, dietary sources of nutrients are more beneficial than supplements.
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