FoodReference.com Logo

FoodReference.com   (Since 1999)
 

Food Articles, News & Features Section

Home      Food Articles      Food Trivia      Today in Food History      Recipes      Cooking Tips      Videos      Food Quotes      Who's Who      Food Trivia Quizzes      Crosswords      Food Poems      Cookbooks      Food Posters      Recipe Contests      Culinary Schools      Gourmet Tours      Food Festivals & Shows

 You are here > Home > Food Articles

 

CULINARY SCHOOLS &
COOKING CLASSES

From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training
Over 1,000 schools & classes listed for U.S., Online & Worldwide

Culinary Posters and Food Art

GRAPES

 

See also: Grape Trivia; Grape Quotes

The grape is one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated going back as far as biblical times. Spanish explorers introduced the fruit to America approximately 300 years ago. Some of the most popular ways in which the fruit is used, is eaten fresh, in preserves or canned in jellies, dried into raisins, and crushed for juice or wine. Although, machines have taken the place of much handwork, table grapes are still harvested by hand in many places.
(Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992).

Grapes are about 80 percent water, making them a delectable low-calorie snack or dessert; a cup of Concord or Catawba grapes contains only about 60 calories Grapes also add fiber to the diet and are naturally low in sodium. Raisins, or dried grapes, contain only about 15 percent water. For this reason, nutrients and calories are more concentrated in raisins-one cup contains 464 calories! Like other dried fruit, raisins are a good source of iron. Serving Size 1-1/2 cups (138g/14.9oz)

grapes

Varieties
Grapes come in more than 50 varieties in black, blue, blue-black, golden, red, green, purple, and white colors with a juicy pulp inside. The two main types of grapes are the American and European. They both come in seeded and seedless varieties. Common varieties include Thompson, Flame, Ruby, Perlette and Tokay grapes. Most U.S. grapes are grown in California.


Selecting Grapes
Look for firm, plump, well-colored clusters of grapes that are securely attached to their green stems. Fully ripe grapes are soft and tender. Grapes showing signs of decay, shriveling, stickiness, brown spots or dry brittle stems should be avoided. Blue Concord grapes are excellent for table use and for making juice and jelly. The large, purplish-red catawba variety is used primarily for making juice and wine, but can also be served fresh for eating.

Using and Preserving Grapes

Fresh Facts

  • Fresh grapes maintain good quality for two to three days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container or plastic bag.
  • Just before use, wash grape clusters under a gentle spray of water, drain and pat dry.
    Table grapes are at their best served slightly chilled to enhance their crisp texture and refreshing flavor.
  • Seedless grapes are used whole. For seeded grapes, remove seeds by cutting grapes into halves lengthwise and scooping out seeds with the point of a knife. 
  • Grapes are easier to peel when they're frozen. Just rinse frozen grapes in lukewarm water until skins split. Skins will then slip right off. 
  • When preparing small clusters of grapes for garnishing, cut the clusters with scissors. This helps keep the grapes attached to the stem.
  • For longer storage, grapes can be canned, frozen or made into juice or sweet spreads to enhance meals throughout the year. Grapes can be dried as raisins for use as a snack or in baking.


Canned Facts

• Seedless grapes can be canned whole for use in fruit salads and molded gelatin desserts. If seeded varieties are used, halve and remove seeds before canning.
• Grape juice can be canned both sweetened and unsweetened. If juice will be made into jelly later, it's best to can it without sugar-then add the proper amount of sugar at jelly making time.
• To prevent mold growth, seal grape jelly with two-piece canning lids and process for five minutes in a simmering water bath.

 

Freezer Facts

• Frozen grape juice is of excellent quality—serve it alone or mixed with other juices. Freeze a few grape "popsicles" for an icy summer treat. 
• Freeze grape puree for use in making grape pie and to flavor yogurt.
• Tray freeze seedless grapes and store them in freezer containers. When summer temperatures sizzle, chill summer drinks with "grape" ice cubes. 
• For an easy, refreshing summer dessert, serve tray frozen grapes in a chilled glass bowl. 


Dried Facts

• The quality of dried grapes, or raisins, is excellent.
• For best results, use seedless grapes. If seeded varieties are used, remove seeds as described under Fresh Facts before drying.
• In areas of high humidity, sun drying is not recommended. For best results, dry grapes in a dehydrator or oven.


Make Grapes Part of Your 5 A Day Plan

It is easy to include grapes in your 5 A Day Plan. They're the original fast food so pack them before you leave home in your lunch or as a snack. Add grapes to any meal as a side dish, especially chicken. Eat grapes as a midmorning or midday snack. Freeze grapes and eat straight from the freezer.

eat 5 to 9 a day

Quick 'N Fresh Ideas

No time to make a fancy dessert? Serve clusters of chilled grapes on a platter with several types of cheese. Let guests serve themselves. 

A breakfast that's guaranteed to wake up slow starters…heap light green honeydew melon halves with luscious red grapes and top with yogurt. A toasted muffin makes this quick meal a nutritious morning starter.

For a delicious one-course summer dinner, add chilled grapes to your favorite pasta, chicken or seafood salad. Serve with crusty bread or roll
 

TOP 

RELATED ARTICLES

FRUIT 'A' to 'L'       Apple Facts & Varieties       Apple Season       Apricots, Facts & Usage       Asian Pear (Chinese Pear)       Babaco       Bananas, Facts       Bananas, 3rd Most Popular Fruit       Bananas, Red Banana       Bananas, Going Bananas       Berries       Blueberry Terminology & Names       Blueberries 2: Facts & Recipes       California Dried Plums       Cherimoya, Custard Apple       Cherries, Varieties & Selection       Cherries, Facts & Recipes       Coconut, The Tree of Life       Cranberry Facts       Cranberry History       Dates & Date Palms       Dried Fruit       Feijoa, Pineapple Guava       Fig: Nutritional Powerhouse       Figs, Buying & Using       Figs: History & Facts       Gooseberries       Grapes       Grapefruit       Guava, Bangkok Apple       Key Limes       Kiwano Melon       Kiwi, Kiwifruit       Kiwi, Mini Kiwifruit       Kumquat       Lemons       Lemons: Facts & Recipes       Lemons, When Life Gives You Lemons...       Limes

 

   Home        About Us & Contact Us        Cooking Contests        Free Magazines        Food Links  
Copyright notice

 

 

 

Popular Pages

FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals