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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Old Fashioned Grapes - With Seeds!

Everyone is saying what a good year it has been for the grapes. Along with apples and pears, grapes are being harvested now throughout Tasmania. Tasmania has lots of vineyards and many varieties do well in our climate and soil. At the last Grower's Market for the season, we were selling grapes...
and boy did we have to do a sell!

You may recognise these but shoppers sure don't.
These are typical dense clusters of small grapes that we were once used to see at the grocers but if you look at supermarkets now they generally have white or black grapes and they look like they have been through a McDonalds Drive Thru and been supersized. 
These grapes have seeds because that is how nature designed fruit and once upon a time we ate them like this and simply swallowed the seed and didn't fear it going through our digestion. In fact it is now thought to be beneficial. So how screwed is this; we genetically modify food to not have the seed and then we take the seed which we should be swallowing naturally, process it into a bottle as an extract and then pay an exorbitant amount for it. 

Those poor old super-sized seedless options at the supermarket don't really have a flavour I find. If you were to line up 10 people and asked them to describe the flavour I'll bet they would use the word "sweet" and boy are they. That is about all I can say about those grapes. They are so sweet that they don't really have that thirst quench anymore.

Those dark grapes above were described as being like pears poached in honey.
The pink ones were described as being like Turkish Delight with a delicate rosewater flavour.
Both varieties are sweet table grapes but both had definite flavours.
Do visit your grocers or farmers market (not your supermarkets, they won't have them) and ask them about the grapes they are buying in. Ask them what varieties are coming in and have a conversation with them. They should be able to describe the flavour and the skin type and may be able to supply a taste. Eat the grape, the whole grape and enjoy a nutrition and taste sensation you've been missing out on for too many years.


  1. Our neighbours have a grapevine which hangs over our fence. I sometimes pick a few grapes while I'm hanging out the washing - they taste ok, but I do not like the seeds (even though the grapes of my childhood had them) We are close to the Swan Valley (big grape growing region here) and we always buy our grapes from the growers. I have never tasted a grape that tastes like Turkish Delight, or pears poached in honey though, and I would REALLY like too. Yum!

    p.s. I'm glad I sent you that Tassie stuff Tania - pool room sounds perfect!

  2. Hi Tania...occasionally we get black grapes with seeds in the local woollies but generally only the green, flame and cardinal varieties. I remember the black grapes we grew at home were very flavoursome and had a kind of caramel muscat like quality...mmmmm!

  3. I find most fruit these days, unless bought from Farmers Markets, are really tasteless. Give me the good old varieties any day :)

  4. Oh Tanya, you sure know how to make the mouth water with your produce descriptions! Yum! It's funny you mentioned the sweetness, I'm very off sugar at the moment and the last grapes I had put me to sleep with the high sugar content! I am actually planning a grape vine for the end of our new verandah - the idea of producing out own eating grapes and drying sultanas is very appealing!

  5. I just showed my 4 year old the pic above and asked him 'what are those?' . He questioningly answered, 'berries?'. When told they were grapes he pointed at the screen and asked 'why are they round?'.
    Just today I had an area cleared for my new trellis which I hope to grow grapevines over. I had better get cracking...
    Any advice for the best grapes to grow in a humid climate?

  6. Hey tanya, another informative and interesting post.....guess I 'd never really thought about grapes and how big the varieties are at the supermarket.
    We don't grow grapes but it certainly would be wonderful to go out and pick a bunch of homegrown.

    Claire x

  7. i agree with you about the grapes in the supermarkets..they look like they've been given steroids.lately i've been buying some dark purple round grapes that have seeds and taste from a green grocer near me..they have huge bins full of pears and apples at the moment too for $1/kilo..they're cheap because they're misshapen or blemished in some way..i guess the supermarkets don't want them..

  8. I am watching with interest some wild grapes on a vacant block near our house ..the sugar is rising ..almost there...sorry we missed you last week ...will be there this week...XXXXXX


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