Have you spotted a newer variety of grapes in your produce section in recent years? You may have seen them arrive briefly and then disappear again before you could try them. Or, perhaps you are a connoisseur of this new variety and are dying to know when you can stock up on them. That variety is the cotton candy grape, which has started to dominate the grape selection recently. But when can you buy them?
Below, we explore when cotton candy grapes are in peak season so you know when to head to the store.
What Are Cotton Candy Grapes?
This unique variety of grapes was cross-bred to focus on the sugar content. Due to their higher-than-usual sugar percentage, they taste just like cotton candy. They are oblong to oval and range from medium to large. Cotton candy grapes have thick green skin, and their flesh is seedless.
They were the brainchild of a geneticist at International Fruit Genetics, IFG in California. The crispness of Vitis vinifera grapes was combined with the sweetness of concord grapes. And they originally took the retail world by storm in 2011.
Where Are Cotton Candy Grapes Grown?
There is only one location where these delectable grapes are grown in the United States – Grapery, located in Bakersfield, California. They hold an exclusive license.
However, this lovely fruit is in such high demand every season that other spots around the globe have started to grow their own.
They are now also grown in parts of Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
When Are Cotton Candy Grapes in Peak Season?
The answer to that question depends on their origin. Those grown at Grapery in California make their way into stores starting in August. The short season only lasts until late September to early October. Spain shares the same growing season as California.
But don’t despair! After a brief break in the seasons, cotton candy grapes may appear in your local produce section again starting in November. The South American countries grow this grape variety from November through March.
Once that supply dries up, fans only have to wait a few more weeks. Mexico’s supply hits store shelves starting in April. Their season is much longer than California’s. Mexican cotton candy grapes are available until June.
Are Cotton Candy Grapes Good For You?
Despite their name, this variety does have some solid nutritional value. They are an excellent source of flavonoids, antioxidants, and Vitamins A, C, and K.
How to Eat Cotton Candy Grapes
Most of us eat grapes as a plain snack. Nothing is better than a bowl of this fresh fruit sitting on your counter. However, this flavorful fruit has countless uses beyond fresh eating. They are great for homemade syrups, sorbets, and baked goods. You can dry them to make homemade raisins, freeze them for later enjoyment, or even roasted!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © RussieseO/ via Getty Images
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