SWEEEEET!

Grapes are natures candy. Fun & delicious. Kids love them and so do adults. Eat ’em, drink ’em and dry ’em like that pile of raisins above. 

It’s that time of year again-when the sun starts setting a bit earlier, the grass begins to green up, the light dew fills the yards and the thermometer begins to drop.  It’s also the time of year for one of my favorite foods (and I have a lot of them) … grapes.  I know it’s kind of a simple thing – with all that’s going on these days it just sort of struck me what a treat they are.  I’m not picky – give me green, pink, red, purple – I just love the juicy flavor bursting in my mouth.  I especially love the rich concord grapes, seeds and all.  And I know throughout the world farmers and winemakers are rejoicing that another great crop means wonderful wine to come. Same excitement at the jam, jelly and juice plants.  At my local grocery store Jackie loaded up the cart with a bag of some big, tasty red grapes that didn’t last long in the house.  Not sure about you, but I love to pop them into my mouth and savor the flavor.  I did some diggin’ and found a bit of info for my trivia friends and a few tidbits I didn’t know.  Take a read and enjoy, and be sure to grab a bunch for yourself – they’re great this year.

– A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis.

– Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, jam, grape juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters.  (WHY ARE THEY CALLED BUNCHES??)

– A few nutritional specs per 100 grams:  (Higher concentrations) Energy-288 kJ, Carbohydrates-18.1 g, Sugars-15.48 g, Dietary fiber- 0.9 g, Fat-0.16 g, Protein-0.72 g, Thiamine (B1)- 6% 0.069 mg, Riboflavin (B2)- 6% 0.07 mg, Vitamin B6- 7% 0.086 mg, Vitamin K-14% 14.6 μg. And Water-81 g

-The cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs naturally on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine. (The earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of winemaking in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in the country of Georgia).

– The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC.  By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East. Thus, it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine.

– Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, and history attests to the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans growing purple grapes both for eating and wine production.  The growing of grapes would later spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, and eventually in North America.

– It only takes about 2.5 lbs. of grapes to make a bottle of wine!
– In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the genus Vitis proliferate in the wild across the continent and were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by early European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. In the 19th century, Ephraim Bull of Concord, Massachusetts, cultivated seeds from wild Vitis labrusca vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States.

– Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange, and pink. “White” grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape.

– Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes.  Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.

– According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. Approximately 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, and 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned “with no added sugar” and “100% natural”. The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year.

– Commercially cultivated grapes can usually be classified as either table or wine grapes, based on their intended method of consumption: eaten raw (table grapes) or used to make wine (wine grapes). While almost all of them belong to the same species, Vitis vinifera, table and wine grapes have significant differences, brought about through selective breeding. Table grape cultivars tend to have large, seedless fruit (see below) with relatively thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller, usually seeded, and have relatively thick skins (a desirable characteristic in winemaking, since much of the aroma in wine comes from the skin). Wine grapes also tend to be very sweet: they are harvested at the time when their juice is approximately 24% sugar by weight. By comparison, commercially produced “100% grape juice”, made from table grapes, is usually around 15% sugar by weight.

– Seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction. It is an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques.

– In most of Europe and North America, dried grapes are referred to as “raisins” or the local equivalent. In the UK, three different varieties are recognized, forcing the EU to use the term “dried vine fruit” in official documents.  A raisin is any dried grape. While raisin is a French loanword, the word in French refers to the fresh fruit; grappe (from which the English grape is derived) refers to the bunch (as in une grappe de raisins).

– Muscadine grape seeds contain about twice the total polyphenol content of skins. Grape seed oil from crushed seeds is used in cosmeceuticals and skincare products. Grape seed oil, including tocopherols (vitamin E) and high contents of phytosterols and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, oleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.

– Comparing diets among Western countries, researchers have discovered that although French people tend to eat higher levels of animal fat, the incidence of heart disease remains low in France. This phenomenon has been termed the French paradox and is thought to occur from protective benefits of regularly consuming red wine, among other dietary practices. Alcohol consumption in moderation may be cardioprotective by its minor anticoagulant effect and vasodilation. (I’m ABSOLUTLEY fine with this stat!)

– The consumption of grapes and raisins presents a potential health threat to dogs. Their toxicity to dogs can cause the animal to develop acute kidney failure (the sudden development of kidney failure) with anuria (a lack of urine production) and may be fatal.

– Although alcohol is permitted in Judaism, grape juice is sometimes used as an alternative for kiddush on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and has the same blessing as wine. Many authorities maintain that grape juice must be capable of turning into wine naturally in order to be used for kiddush. Common practice, however, is to use any kosher grape juice for kiddush.

– Christians have traditionally used wine during worship services as a means of remembering the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for the remission of sins. Christians who oppose the partaking of alcoholic beverages sometimes use grape juice or water as the “cup” or “wine” in the Lord’s Supper.

– The Catholic Church continues to use wine in the celebration of the Eucharist because it is part of the tradition passed down through the ages starting with Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, where Catholics believe the consecrated bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, a dogma known as transubstantiation.

 

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DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!

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