Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Grapes from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

The grape is a plant of temperate zones, it grows particularly well in regions where the climate is like that of the Mediterranean. California produces 97 percent of all the European varieties grown commercially in the United States; Arizona produces the rest. California is third in the world in table grape production, behind Italy and Chile. The vast majority of the grapes imported into the United States come from Chile, with Mexico a distant second.

The two types of grape species grown in the United States are the Native American, and the European. Even though early Americans have grafted European varieties to the hardier Native American rootstocks, the table grapes we see today are direct descendants of European varieties. There are an estimated ten thousand varieties of the European species, but only a dozen or so are imported as table grapes.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

William Thompson was born in England in 1839 and immigrated to the United States in 1863. He grafted three vine cuttings of a grape variety called Lady de Coverly to California grapevines. Over a four-year period and some additional graftings, the grapes he produced were named Thompson seedless. Today the Thompson seedless grape is the most popular table grape as well as one of the most versatile. It is also used for juice and wine and accounts for 95 percent of the raisins produced in California.

Selecting a quality product

Grapes are only harvested when they are fully ripe so they should always be ready to eat when you buy them. Color is a good guide to the sweetness of the fruit. Green grapes should have a yellow cast or straw color with a touch of amber, when fully ripe, not an opaque grassy green color. Red grapes should be a deep crimson, not a milky or pale red. Blue grapes should be darkly hued, almost black, not pale or tinged with green.

Grapes should be plump, so avoid any that have lots of underdeveloped, very green fruit. You can always judge the freshness of grapes by the stem. The greener the stem, the fresher the grapes. Grapes should always be firmly attached to their stems.

Tips on Storage

Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any spoiled grapes with broken skins or browning and discard. They should keep a week to ten days. During storage, continue to remove any and all spoiled fruit to avoid affecting the remaining fruit.


Ham Rolls With Grapes And Tomato Cream Sauce

Yield: 4 Servings

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp shallots, chopped fine
1 cup cubed ripe tomatoes
6 tbsp dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb thinly sliced ham
1 1/2 cups small white seedless grapes

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a saucepan and add the shallots. Cook briefly, then add the tomatoes. Cook about 10 min., stirring occasionally. Add 4 tbsp of the wine and cook about 3 min. Stir in the cream. Simmer about 15 min.

3. Butter a oval baking dish ( a dish measuring about 9 x 12 x 2 in. is ideal). Roll up the ham slices into cigar shapes not quite 1-in. in diameter. Arrange the rolls close together in the dish, side by side in a neat row. Melt the remaining butter and brush over the ham rolls. Set aside.

4. Put the sauce through a fine strainer. Return to the saucepan and cook about 5 min. longer.

5. Meanwhile, place the grapes in a small skillet with the remaining wine. Bring to a boil and cook, shaking the skillet, about 3 min. Do not over cook or the grapes will become mushy. They must retain a nice texture and shape. Add the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring.

6. Place the ham in the oven and bake about 5 min., just to heat through.

7. Pour the grapes and the sauce over the ham.

Grilled Sausages With Grapes And Cabbage

4 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 md red onion, thinly sliced
1 lb wine or purple grapes
1/2 lb napa cabbage, sliced, in 1/8 pieces
8 italian fennel sausages, pricked with fork
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat grill.

In a 12 to 14 inch saute pan, heat olive oil until smoking. Add onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add grapes and cabbage and cook until cabbage is soft and some grapes have expanded, about 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place sausage on grill and cook through, turning regularly, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add vinegar to cabbage mixture and season with salt and pepper. Place sausage over cabbage and serve from the pan. Yield: 4 servings.

Spicy Asian Beef And Grapes

12 oz beef flank steak
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 clove garlic; minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red chilies
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 cup seedless grapes; halved
1/2 cup sliced sweet red pepper
2 tbsp chopped green onions
2 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Slice steak across grain into thin strips and place in small bowl. Combine soy sauce, wine, garlic, sesame oil and chilies in small bowl; mix well. Pour sauce over beef. Mix to coat all pieces, cover and marinate 20 minutes. Place marinated beef and onion in a 2-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover with waxed paper. Stirring midway through cooking, microwave on HIGH 4 minutes. Add grapes, red pepper, and green onions; microwave on HIGH 1 minute; mix well. Line bottom platter with cabbage; top with hot beef mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings.

Carmalized Grapes

Yield: 6 Servings

5 cups seedless red or green grapes
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Wash and dry grapes. Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla together. Pour cream mixture over grapes and stir gently. Pour into a 9x13 pan. In a saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil. Immediately pour over grapes. Don't stir. Chill for 3-4 hours.

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