How to buy fresh Grapes?Most table grapes available in food stores are of the European type, grown principally in California and Arizona. Only small quantities of Eastern-grown American-type grapes are sold for table use.
European types are firm-fleshed and generally have high sugar content. Common varieties are Thompson seedless (an early, green grape), Red seedless (an early, red grape), Tokay and Cardinal (early, brightred, seeded grapes), and Emperor (late, deep-red, seeded grapes). These all have excellent flavor when well-matured.
American-type grapes have softer flesh and are juicier than European types. The outstanding variety for flavor is the Concord, which is blue-black when fully matured. Delaware and Catawba are also popular.
Look for: Well-colored, plump grapes that are firmly attached to the stem. White or green grapes are sweetest when the color has a yellowish cast or straw color, with a tinge of amber. Red varieties are better when good red predominates on all or most of the berries. Bunches are more likely to hold together if the stems are predominantly green and pliable
Avoid: Soft or wrinkled grapes, or bunches of grapes with stems that are brown and brittle; these are the effects of freezing or drying. Also avoid grapes with bleached areas around the stem ends (indicating injury and poor quality), and leaking berries (a sign of decay).
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