One of our favorite discoveries while making the switch from “grocery store” produce to local, seasonal produce was grapes. Most Americans experience grapes as large, seedless, green or red, and usually pretty devoid of distinct flavors or seasons. They are bred to have thick skins, no seeds, and a uniform flavor across the country. We accept the disconnect between the dark purple complexity of “grape” jellies or “grape” sodas and the mild, pale, unassuming grocery store grape.
Well guess what? The magic of processing can’t turn a bland green grape into a flavorful purple jelly…that’s where REAL grapes come in. Concord grapes, a dark purple, explosively flavorful variety, are used as the inspiration for grape-flavored products. They are usually small and almost blue in color, much like a blueberry and with just as many nutrients. They will turn your tongue purple…try getting a grocery store grape to do that!
In fact, the antioxident and cholesterol-improving traits attributed to wine and other grape products can be enhanced by eating the seeds of a grape. Concord and other seasonal seeded grape varieties are usually ignored by shoppers, but by eating the seeds you can actually reverse arterial damage that can lead to atherosclerosis or stroke.
Plus, after the first bite of a true, in-season Concord grape, you’ll smile and say, “oh right. That’s what purple tastes like.”