During the US winter, we cannot get the typical "summer fruit." California, Florida, Arizona, Washington — no state can grow cherries or blueberries or grapes or peaches, plums or nectarines during January through April. That is why we have to rely on Chile to provide us fresh and tasty fruit in our coldest months. You’ll find grapes from Chile in our stores right now, and we’re here to help you learn all about grapes!
Nutrition: This sweet fruit is fat free and very low in sodium. A grape’s skin contains important antioxidants and phytonutrients, like resveratrol, which may help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Selection: Choose ripe grapes that are plump, wrinkle free and firm to touch. The fruit should be firmly attached to the stem. Ripe green grapes are medium in size, sweet and have a yellowish hue. Red grapes are very sweet. Purple or blue-black grapes are deeply colored when ripe and are the least sweet. Grapes can be seeded or seedless.
Storage: Unwashed grapes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. They also freeze well for a quick and easy snack. To freeze, wash and pat grapes dry. Arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, place grapes in a plastic bag or container and seal well. Return to freezer until ready-to-eat.
Preparation: Just before eating or using in a recipe, wash grapes under cool, running water. Drain using a colander or gently pat dry. Pluck grapes from individual stems or use a scissors to separate clusters. This helps keep any remaining grapes fresher by preventing the stem from drying out.
Cooking Methods: Although often enjoyed fresh, roasted grapes can add a sophisticated and unexpected twist to both sweet and savory dishes. If used in baking, you can keep grapes from sinking to the bottom of a cake or muffin by tossing in a little flour before folding into a batter.
Ways to Enjoy: Enjoy this delicious fruit fresh, frozen or dried as raisins. Fresh grapes can add flavor to salads, pasta dishes and even salsas. Roast grapes for a more intense and sweet flavor, perfect for sauces and dessert toppings. Grapes can even be baked into breads or enjoyed in refreshing beverages. Or, try grapes in some of our favorite recipes:
Emily Schwartz is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of Wisconsin.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice. Health information changes frequently as research constantly evolves. You should not rely on any information gathered here as a substitute for consultation with medical professionals. Information may not be reproduced without permission from Festival Foods. We strongly encourage guests to review the ingredient lists of suggested products before purchasing to ensure they meet individual dietary needs. All products not available at all Festival locations.