Monday, October 10, 2011

Oh, the Grape!


If you live in vineyard country like I do, you might find yourself in an obsessive relationship with the grape, as I have.  I don't mean that figuratively in terms of really liking wine -- I mean the actual grape, in this case Concord grapes that grow in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

Concord grapes are not all sweet like the ones you buy in a grocery store.  They have a combined taste of tartness and sweetness, like some kinds of apples.  Some people eat them skins, seeds, and all.  Others squish the insides out in their mouths and dispose of the skins; still others spit out the seeds but relish the skin and pulp.

One of the treats at farmer's markets around here this time of year is Concord grape pie.  I heard of someone buying one this past weekend at, appropriately enough, Naples, New York, and it made me want a slice.  I'm not a big pie fan, but I'll take a slice of grape pie or two about once a year.

We all know about Concord grape jelly sold in the grocery store, but that's just not the same (though obviously made from these grapes).  If you've never eaten Concord grapes right off the vine -- or nearly so -- I hope you'll take the opportunity if it ever presents itself to you and try them.  Our weeks of having fresh local grapes are already limited, and I'm fresh out.  Time to go out and get some more before they, and these glorious, colorful fall days of October, are gone!