Pick Of The Bunch

Picture of grapes

I once heard a comedian joke that grapes always give you a second chance. If you bite into a bad apple, you are stuck with a bad apple. However, if you come across a bad grape, no problem, just move on to the next.

Humans have cultivated grapes for thousands of years. The Romans, Greeks and Egyptians were the world’s earliest cultivators of the fruit.

The grape grows in clustered bunches on a woody vine.

Grapes are generally broken into two main groups: white, which are often a pale yellow-green colour, and the black range that vary from pink, to bright red or deep purple.

Many are suitable as ‘table or eating’ grapes (thin skin, low acid, plump and juicy) while others are more suited to wine production, juicing or drying. Wine grapes are often described as having a musky flavour, and can be coated in a natural powdery ‘bloom’.

Some grapes contain large seeds, which many people (such as my daughter) find off-putting, while other varieties are virtually seedless.

They are healthy, containing Vitamin C and small amounts of other vitamins, minerals and fibre.

When purchasing grapes, look for plump, firm and colourful fruit, firmly attached to a healthy green stem.

Some interesting grape facts:

– There are at least 8000 grape species from over 60 different varieties.

– It can take between 600 t0 800 grapes to make one bottle of wine

– They are in fact classified as a berry

– Sultanas, currents and raisins are dried grapes

– The world’s oldest known grape vine is in Slovenia and is believed to have lived for over 400 hundred years.

– Grape wine has been produced by humans for 5000 years

 Smoked chicken, grape and walnut salad

  •  400g smoked chicken, cut into pieces
  • 400g white seedless grapes, halved
  • 300g red apples, cored and diced
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 150g celery, diced
  • 100ml sour cream
  • 100ml Greek yoghurt
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g  walnut, chopped
  1. Toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring.
  2. Add chicken, grapes and celery.
  3. Carefully mix in sour cream and yoghurt.
  4. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  5. Before serving, sprinkle walnuts on top.

Serves 4.

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