07 Sep2006

Grapes

by Marketman

grapes1

Only two fruits would instantly be associated with the two letters “PX” when I was a kid; Washington Red Delicious apples, however mealy, and grapes, whatever variety. Having grapes in the house meant that someone had carefully hand carried them back from a foreign trip or someone had recently come from the American bases and was able to “score” a few bunches of grapes. Alternatively, during the Christmas season, crates of grapes somehow showed up in Chinatown and were highly sought after. I have always liked grapes. They are handy to eat, sweet and juicy. My mother was one of those folks that PEELED her grapes, but I never did. I thought mom was weird until I realized that my wife’s family sometimes did the same. Now my daughter sometimes gets her grapes peeled too…it’s weird, I agree. Puncturing the grape skin and getting that satisfying burst of sweet grape juice is one of the pleasures of eating grapes for me…

Grapes are at their zenith in California and other Northern temperate regions at the grape2moment and they are relatively abundant in local markets. If you are heading out to you neighborhood fruit provedore this weekend, pick up a few bunches. I like to just chill them and serve them cold. And yes, that is a grape scissors in the photo above and it has been featured before and raised a a bit of a stir… Grapes are actually the berries of a woody vine and there are thousands of varieties around the globe. The majority of grapes are used to make wine and of the remainder, they are either eaten fresh or made into raisins. My favorite raisins are these plump pale raisins made from white grapes… Thompson seedless red grapes are a popular variety and they are perfect snacking material, even for one on a diet. I like to have 10-12 pieces when I have a sugar low or am feeling bad about diet suffering. Add a nice slice of low fat cheese and it’s a seriously good snack! Enjoy!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. linda says:

    I can remember these apples and there was sticker on it? or the apple was wrapped with a tissue-like-paper with the name Skookum? Just reminiscing!

    Inggit ako sa grape scissors mo,MM! Have been looking around for it in antique shops or yard sales,but to no avail.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 10:21 am

     
  2. fely barcelon says:

    i was one of those crazy fellows who handcarrries at least 5kgs every other week after a business trip abroad. well, its good that we have them here now, however sometimes, they are not as juicy anymore.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 10:25 am

     
  3. anonymous paul says:

    why do some people peel grapes, anyway? the peel’s good for you

    Sep 7, 2006 | 10:25 am

     
  4. ThePseudoshrink says:

    My mother peels her grapes too—she’s fears that the fruits might have been sprayed with insecticides. I don’t (out of laziness, I think). I like grapes, but not as much as lanzones (bought some last night in Baclaran, so sweet). Ako din, inggit sa grape scissors mo! Mylai D.’s hair would curl on seeing those. ; )

    Sep 7, 2006 | 10:29 am

     
  5. Apicio says:

    There are large thick-skinned grapes like muscat, lexia or globe that are too resistant for eating unpeeled so they are therefore usually dried and used as seeded raisins. Since tannin resides in the skin, ingesting too much of it causes a discomforth that is akin to that caused by santol.

    BTW, It surprised me to read somewhere that there are just three fruits native to North America and they are concord grapes, blueberries and cranberries.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 11:08 am

     
  6. wysgal says:

    Frozen grapes are a fantastic substitute for sugar-laden artificial fruit popsicles in the middle of summer.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 11:08 am

     
  7. ENYA says:

    I belong to those who peel their grapes, but only the Red Globe kind. Plase don’t ask me why I don’t peel the seedless kinds, because I won’t have an answer. Just a personal quirk, I guess.

    Hey, guys, have you tried freezing your seedless grapes, especially the red kind na maliliit ang butil? I love snacking/munching on these especially during summertime ’cause it’s cold and sweet! Yum!

    Sep 7, 2006 | 11:20 am

     
  8. ENYA says:

    It’s a no-salt snack food na healthy pa! Grapes are packed with flavonoids, anti-oxidants, and all that churva. You should try it, MM!

    Sep 7, 2006 | 11:27 am

     
  9. ENYA says:

    It’s a no-salt snack food na healthy pa! Grapes are packed with flavonoids, anti-oxidants, and all that churva. You should try it ‘em frozen grapes, MM!

    Sep 7, 2006 | 11:29 am

     
  10. Bubut says:

    i was able to taste some locally grown grapes in Zamboanga. They are so sweet though they are very small. Perfect for raisins. The reason why they didnt grow well because the owner was not able to remove the excess grapes and they have no room for growth. I’ll send you the photos, MM.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 11:41 am

     
  11. lojet says:

    Not diet but sweet seedless ones are so good with chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. They can also be halved and added to salads (vegetable, fruit, chicken, or tuna).

    I don’t peel mine when eating that’s why I prefer the small seedless ones but I wash them first with water laced with white vinegar in the hopes of getting rid of the pesticides and that whitish residue that coats them sometimes

    Sep 7, 2006 | 12:29 pm

     
  12. shane says:

    i love grapes in a summer salad of mesclun mix, walnuts, halved grapes, quartered strawberries, chilled diced cucumber, crumbled feta cheese served with poppy seed dressing. really refreshing. love the scissors, MM.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 12:36 pm

     
  13. Mila says:

    Frozen grapes are a great diet dessert, will fulfill the urge for icecream and sweets. And you could also make grape sorbet.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 1:13 pm

     
  14. Jen Tan says:

    I love grapes frozen as I love all berries frozen! They’re like posicles in bite size pieces! hehehe I think they are good on its own but better with cottage, ricotta or raclette =)

    Sep 7, 2006 | 1:20 pm

     
  15. Shane says:

    Linda: “Skookum” is a Chinook word which has several meanings, the most common of which is “the best”. Skookum is found/used in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Since the apples were labeled with Skookum, I would guess it came from Washington state.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 2:09 pm

     
  16. math says:

    I love grapes & I often buy the seedless variety every week. I eat the skin too & make sure to wash them well before storing in the fridge. Its good with cottage or low-fat cheese for a light breakfast.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 3:46 pm

     
  17. Sandra says:

    I cut my grapes with scissors too. That is the way it is eaten. Can’t stand to see people picking from the bunch. But, like your mother, I peel them. Sanayan lang. My favorite one is muscat because it is sweet. You must have tried them in Rome. But they now have these seedless black grapes in New York which are sweet and delicious when served cold.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 5:20 pm

     
  18. cupcakediva says:

    Sandra, so how should one eat grapes when they don’t have grape scissors?

    Sep 7, 2006 | 6:11 pm

     
  19. sister says:

    For those of you seeking grape scissors they are fairly common in antique shops in Europe, specially U.K. and France and on the East Coast of the US, particularly Baltimore and NYC. Check ebay or Christies, or Doyle Galleries, they come up for auction, too. Price ranges from under $100. for silverplate and above that for sterling. Sometimes the blades are stainless to avoid the acid pitting the silver.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 8:22 pm

     
  20. Apicio says:

    Every one is trained to pick a smaller bunch as his or her individual serving. They say picking them one by one from the serving plate is equivalent to serving yourself from a common plate with your own fork or spoon. Whether you do it with a spiffy grape scissors or one mean pruning shears depends on where you are (or who you are) and does not much matter IMHO.

    Sep 7, 2006 | 8:26 pm

     
  21. corrrine_p says:

    hmm…love the scissors but I guess any type of scissors will do…just cut the grapes before serving. I am used to buying grapes from the supermarket but the ones from Divisoria are a lot better…crunchy and juicy if only it’s not so far, I’d buy them anytime. *sigh*

    Sep 7, 2006 | 10:08 pm

     
  22. Maria Clara says:

    Grapes are synonymous with good luck in our family. We hang them by the doorways come New Year’s Eve to bring bountiful grace throughout the year. We have them at the dinner table as a centerpiece also on New Year’s Eve. Before the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve each of us has grapes in our hands. Birthdays and baptismal they are part of the fruit tray desert. I still carry on this tradition up to this time and I will pass it on to my issues.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 2:46 am

     
  23. tulip says:

    Grapes!!Red globes doesnt appeal to me much because of the skin while the green(or white) grapes are sometimes sour for me. I love the dark purple to almost black ones, though they look smaller than other varieties, its really sweet. Once a friend from California who was privilege enought to go pick grapes from a grape vineyard for free(how I wish the owner is my friend as well *supply of black grapes*..hehehe) gave me some of those black grapes as pasalubong…ohlala, the sweetest grapes I ever had!It’s not the same as the ones available here in Manila.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 2:56 am

     
  24. oggi says:

    I didn’t know there are grape scissors but I separate the bunches with ordinary kitchen scissors before storing them in the fridge, easier for everybody in my home to serve themselves. I love nibbling on red seedless and champagne grapes with thin slices of manchego or aged gouda. And yes, MM I’m not a fan of red delicious apple, I prefer the Japanese fuji, a hybrid of red delicious, they’re so sweet and crunchy and great for pies.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 4:25 am

     
  25. Marketman says:

    A small pair of stainless scissors will work. Pre-cutting small bunches and placing them on the serving platter will do. It’s just one of those things that you don’t pluck the individual grapes off…heehee. I knew this would bring up some healthy discussions on food etiquette…

    Sep 8, 2006 | 8:56 am

     
  26. Juls says:

    If you don’t mind, I would like to make a technical comment about this site. I seem to be having trouble reading the comments that have a green background. The letters in them sometimes disappear, and I have to highlight them with the cursor just read them. The ones with the plain white background appear normally though, and I would like to ask if anyone out there is experiencing the same problem. I’m using a beta version of IE 7, but it is only in this site that I’ve been experiencing some problems.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 9:56 am

     
  27. Marketman says:

    Juls, I haven’t had any comments from others. But my email is sometimes problematic… Please let me know if this is a continued problem as I will have my technical guy look into it.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 9:58 am

     
  28. Naz says:

    Juls, the green bg is just fine here. cool to my eyes.

    MM, how about Japanese Persimmons (fuyu), do you have them readily available in your provedores?

    I would guess this fruit is also a favorite of yours!

    Sep 8, 2006 | 10:48 am

     
  29. izang says:

    cupcakediva, same sentiments here….depictions of rulers in history (romans?), have them eating from the bunch…or i just watch too many movies……i guess since grapes aren’t indiginous in the philippines, we had to learn how to properly(?) eat them…….

    Sep 8, 2006 | 12:39 pm

     
  30. cupcakediva says:

    Oh, we do pre-cut the grapes in small bunches for easy serving using kitchen shears. I just thought Sandra meant one has to use ONLY grape scissors and use it ina way that you cut every piece of the grapes from the bunch before putting it into your mouth!! DUH!! =)

    Sep 8, 2006 | 1:03 pm

     
  31. Doddie from Korea says:

    MM,

    Here in Korea, people eat concord grapes (yes the sour ones used to make jam and jelly. Koreans would take a grape, hold it halfway in their mouth and squeeze it between their thumb and forefinger. They would simultaneously suck in the sour morsel and get rid of the skin. It is still slightly sour and a little sweet.

    The first time I was offered a concord grape, I ate the whole grape – skin and all. You could imagine the grimace and face contortion that I made. Then my korean friends laughingly told me how to do it.

    I told them that concord grapes were not eaten at all in the US but instead are made into wine, jelly or jam. They were very surprised by this fact.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 2:38 pm

     
  32. Lourdes says:

    Same as Maria Clara grapes are synonymous with good luck in our family too. We can only eat them during Christmas and New Year. Every new year I have 12 kinds of rounded with lots of seeds fruits in my dining table. Eating grapes with the seeds is healthy… it is antioxidant.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 4:12 pm

     
  33. Katrina says:

    MM, do you know how to make frosted/sugared grapes? I first tried them in the US many years ago — they’re a pretty traditional dessert/decor there, right? I loved it! Have not had them since, though. :-(

    It’s a family (Spanish, I think?) tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. My mom goes around and makes sure we ALL do it, even though it’s become a chore for some of us. We try to persuade her that the amount of wine we’ve drunk by that time is more than enough, but she won’t have it… ;-) Next time I’ll advice her to freeze them; I bet that’ll make it much easier to eat 12.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 6:31 pm

     
  34. edee says:

    i was suprised when my husband said that they used to grow grapes in their backyard in Vigan, i didn’t know then that you can grow them in the phils. …. he said that it was a pain to look after and that they’ve only got 3 fruit bearing seasons out of it…..and that after eating too many of them under the vines he felt drunk! :)

    Sep 8, 2006 | 8:05 pm

     
  35. Marketman says:

    edee, my mom used to grow grapes in an arbor or trellis in our backyard in Makati in the 1970’s… never got edible fruit but the leaves were heathly. I wish we had some now so I would have a source of fresh grape leaves which is useful for some recipes. I did see some live grape seedlings at the market in Taguig recently. Katrina, sugared grapes are relatively easy I think. Take room termperature grapes, dry the skin with a paper towel, brush with egg white and sprinkle liberraly with caster sugar. They are decorative mainly, sometimes used as part of a dessert cornucopia… they aren’t typically edible as some folks are worried about raw egg white. Alternatively, you can use artificial egg white. They look great for dessert plate decor or centerpieces. My wife’s family used to do the 12 grape thing and I think you were supposed to swallow it whole. I always had visions of pooping 12 raisins the next day…heeheehee. Doddie, yes, concords typically not a table grape in the U.S.! cupcakediva, you are a gas… izang, I wouldn’t mind leaning back on soft cushions in a toga while some fair lady fed me with bunches of grapes…what did they do with the seeds? Just spit them out? Naz, I have to admit I haven’t eaten many persimmons in my lifetime at all…I have seen them in Manila in one or two places but it is extremely unusual still, I think.

    Sep 8, 2006 | 8:51 pm

     
  36. Wilson Cariaga says:

    our maid once mistakedly placed the grapes in the freezer. . . I was bursting mad. . . but actually frozen grapes really taste good hehehe. . . and liked it better than chilled. . . I peel my grapes when I put it in sauces like Port wine grape sauce, yummy for roast pork. . .

    Sep 9, 2006 | 7:41 am

     
  37. Doddie from Korea says:

    MM,

    Do you have any recipes for grape leaves? There are grape vineyards here in the town where I live.

    Sep 9, 2006 | 7:48 pm

     
  38. Marketman says:

    Doddie, look up dolmas, I think, on the internet, stuffed grape leaves with rice. Grape leaves also great for cheese and fruit platters, though they aren’t edible in this use…

    Sep 9, 2006 | 9:38 pm

     
  39. uyster says:

    In Toronto, somewhere near Niagara, there’s this wine cellar that sells ice wine. the grapes are intentionally left out in freezing weather and the grapes are harvested frozen. somehow, the freezing may have made the juice so concentrated in sugar that the wine is sweet. maybe, that’s why frozen grapes taste good =)

    Sep 27, 2006 | 6:34 pm

     
 

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