Cool green, ruby red, or deep purple grapes make a sweet, nutritious snack and great jellies, as well as elegant sauces and
Season: Year-round; peak in fall.
How to Choose Grapes
Look for fruits that are plump, unblemished, evenly colored, and firmly attached to a flexible stem. Avoid those that are wrinkled, brownish, or white at the stem end. Grapes range from pale green (like the common Thompson seedless variety) to blue-black (like tart Concords, which are often used for jam) and are grown with or without seeds. Ripe green (aka white) grapes should have a yellowish cast, while red and purple ones should have no green areas. Some grapes may have a white coating on the skin, called a bloom; it’s a harmless natural substance that protects the fruit from moisture loss and decay. Buy organic if possible; conventionally grown grapes (especially imported ones) can have a high percentage of pesticide residue.
How to Store Grapes
Store grapes unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a ventilated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though they’re best within the first 3 days. They will shrivel, and even start to ferment, at room temperature. Just before eating or cooking with them, pluck the fruit from the stem, give it a thorough rinse, and gently pat dry.
How to Use Grapes
Grapes can be roasted with poultry, veal, and pork (add them to the pan during the last 15 to 20 minutes). When frozen, they make a refreshing snack or fruity “ice cubes.”
Real Simple Grape Recipes:
- Ravioli With Grape Tomatoes and Wine
- Couscous Salad With Grapes and Feta
- Curried Chicken Salad With Grapes
- Spinach, Grape, and Coconut Smoothie
- Grape and Pine Nut Dessert Focaccia
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.