Red and green grapes are the perfect accompaniment to a cheese platter. They’re also delicious served with other fruits or baked into tart desserts.
Like other berries, grapes can range through several levels of sweet to tart. Those sold in bunches in produce sections tend to be sweet and would not do well for winemaking. Grapes that are grown for fermenting are typically much too tangy for snacking.
European grapes are available year-round, but
Red grapes also encompass black, purple, and blue shades. These include such familiar names as
The Thompson seedless is a popular white – or green – grape sold for public consumption and is also typically used to make raisins. Other species include Princess and Perlette.
Grapes are fragile and easily bruised. Select those with firm unbroken skins and a “blush,” or light powder coating. They should not be sticky. It is difficult, however, to avoid an entire bunch without a few that are mushy. Berries should not break easily from the stems.
Once plucked from the vine, ripening stops and taste will not improve.
Refrigerate unwashed, with stems intact, and use within two weeks. Grapes freeze well – for up to two months – and make a terrific frozen snack. De-stem, wash, and keep in a single layer until hard. When thawed, they remain firm.
• To remove the skin, freeze first. Use a sharp knife to make a slit on the side.
• Seeded varieties can be pulped and strained before using. Reserve the liquid to splash over other fresh fruits
by BigOven team and Steve Murch
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