How to Select Grapes
- Choose grape bunches that are mostly attached to a moist and flexible stem. Avoid wrinkled or sticky grapes and those on withered or limp stems.
- Select grapes without discoloration: red grapes should be a rich crimson color; green grapes a light, translucent green; and blue grapes a deep purple, almost black hue.
- Grape coloration can vary from variety to variety. In general, red grapes will be a light pinkish red to a crimson color, green grapes will be dull to bright green with a creamy finish, and black grapes will be anywhere from purple to deep bluish black. Insider tip: the ambered green grapes are usually the sweetest ones in the bunch. Grapes will not ripen further after being picked from the vine, so avoid unripe bunches.
- A silvery powder, or “bloom”, is natural on grapes and a sign that the bunch is fresh.
When are Grapes in Season?
You can buy grapes year round from most grocery stores. But grapes are in season from late summer to early fall, between August and October. During this time, you can find grapes at their freshest and most flavorful. Remember to choose grapes that are plump, firm, and free from wrinkles or soft spots. Enjoy this sweet and juicy fruit!
Varieties of Grapes
While there are literally thousands of different varieties of grapes worldwide, each with a unique appearance and flavor profile, these are some of the most popular grape varieties:
- Red Globe Grapes: This variety has a round shape and a crisp, juicy texture. The skin is thick and bright red, while the flesh is sweet and slightly tangy.
- Thompson Seedless Grapes: These grapes are small and round with green-yellow skin. They have a crisp, juicy texture and a sweet flavor. Thompson seedless grapes are popular for making raisins.
- Concord Grapes: These grapes are blue-black with thick skin and seeds. They have a sweet, rich flavor with a slightly tart finish. Concord grapes are a favorite for making juice, jelly, and grape flavoring.
- Black Seedless Grapes: This variety has a deep purple-black color and a sweet, juicy flavor. The skin is thin, and the texture is crisp and firm. Black seedless grapes are perfect for snacking or adding to salads.
- Crimson Seedless Grapes: These grapes have a bright red color and a sweet, juicy flavor. They have a firm texture and are seedless, making them easy to eat.
Grapes Nutrition Facts & Benefits
Here are the nutritional facts for a 100-gram serving of grapes:
- Approx 69 calories
- 0.2 grams of fat
- 0.7 grams of protein
- 18 grams of carbohydrates
- 15 grams of natural sugar
- 0.9 grams of fiber
Grapes are a healthy and nutritious fruit with many potential health benefits. Here are proven ways that grapes can benefit your health:
- Grapes are packed with vitamins and nutrients, specifically copper, B vitamins, and K vitamins, that help build bones and blood clotting.
- Grapes are an excellent source of potassium which is proven to help lower blood pressure.
- Eating grapes can decrease your cholesterol absorption and lower your cholesterol levels.
How to Store Grapes
- Grapes keep for some time, particularly in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Grapes stored in ideal conditions after being picked may last up to two months, though most grapes found in a grocery store will be freshest for about five to ten days.
- When storing your grapes in the fridge, you can remove them from the stems or leave them attached, it is a matter of preference. They will last the same amount of time on or off the stem. Regardless, you should pick off those that are spoiled or damaged before storage. If you would like to wash your grapes before storing them, make sure they are dry before putting them back in the fridge.
- Store grapes in containers that allow for air flow. Grapes sold pre-packaged often come in perforated plastic containers, which are ideal for storage.
- Keep grapes away from food with strong odors, like onions, as they will absorb the scents around them.
- Grapes can be frozen for about four months, though they will begin to lose their flavor within a couple of weeks. Note that thawed grapes will have a mushy texture and are best used in smoothies, but frozen grapes are a great snack by themselves and make tasty ice cubes in your wine.
- Flash freeze grapes by laying them out on a baking sheet in your freezer for two hours, then transferring to a plastic bag for storage.
How to Prepare Grapes
Grapes are nutritious and delicious fruit many enjoy in many different ways. Here are our favorite ways to prepare grapes:
- Fresh: Grapes are a perfect healthy snack to enjoy as they are. Rinse them under cold water, and you’re ready to go!
- Frozen: Frozen grapes make a great sweet treat on hot summer days. Rinse the grapes, remove the stems, and place them in the freezer. You can enjoy frozen grapes as a snack or use them as ice cubes in drinks.
- Roasted: Roasted grapes make a delicious and unexpected addition to many savory dishes. Toss the grapes in olive oil and roast your grapes in the oven until they are soft and caramelized. Serve them with roasted chicken, pork, or cheese platters.
How to Serve Grapes