Jennifer A. Wickes
History / Geography
Grapes are the oldest
fruit known to man. The Spanish are credited with the introduction of
grapes to America over 300 years ago.
Grapes are grown in the temperate zones around the world including Africa,
Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.
California is the United States' major grape producer.
Grapes are really
There are over 8000
varieties of grapes all of which are smooth- skinned and juicy. Some of these
have seeds, others are seedless. Some have a "slip-skin", a skin which can
easily be removed, and
others do not. Grapes have two different color categorical types; white or
black. The white grapes range in color from yellow to a light green,
whereas the black range in color from red to a purplish
black. Commercially grapes are divided into three types: wine grapes (with
a high acidity, thus too tart to eat); table grapes (low acidity); and
grapes for commercial food production such as raisins, currants, grape
jelly, juice etc.
How to Select
Choose plump, brightly
colored berries with no sign of browning and no sign of green (a sign that
the grapes are not ripe - grapes will not ripen after being picked). If
possible shake each bunch gently. If any grapes fall off the vine then the
grapes are too old. If they remain tightly onto their vine then they are
suitable to take home.
Store grapes unwashed
in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a week!
In ancient times
grapes were eaten to increase one's fertility and to increase one's
chances at having dreams. Also, in ancient Egypt, mummies were often
entombed with grapes in their graves.
1 lb. fresh = 2 1/2 -
3 cups cut up
Wash thoroughly in a
water and lemon juice (or white vinegar) before eating. This will help
remove any insecticides sprayed on the grapes while growing.
Grapes are best served fresh and cold at approximately 60 degrees F (15
degrees C). To achieve this remove grapes from the refrigerator
approximately 30 minutes prior to serving.
If you would like your grapes peeled freeze them first. Then make a slight
incision into the skin with a pairing knife and begin peeling the skin
Additional Information (Web Sites)
Curried Chicken Salad
by Jennifer A. Wickes