The grape is one of the oldest fruits to be cultivated, going back as far as biblical times. Spanish explorers introduced the fruit to America approximately 300 years ago. Some of the most popular ways in which the fruit is used include being eaten fresh, in preserves or canned in jellies, dried into raisins, and crushed for juice or wine. Although machines have taken the place of much handwork, table grapes are still harvested by hand in many places around the world. (Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 1992).
Grapes are about 80 percent water, making them a delectable low-calorie snack or dessert. A cup of Concord or Catawba grapes contains only about 60 calories. Grapes also add fiber to the diet and are naturally low in sodium. Raisins, or dried grapes, contain only about 15 percent water. For this reason, nutrients and calories are more concentrated in raisins-one cup contains 464 calories! Like other dried fruit, raisins are a good source of iron.
Grapes come in more than 50 varieties and black, blue, blue-black, golden, red, green, purple, and white colors with a juicy pulp inside. The two main types of grapes are the American and European. They both come in seeded and seedless varieties. Common varieties include Thompson, Flame, Ruby, Perlette and Tokay grapes. Most U.S. grapes are grown in California.
Selecting & Washing Grapes
Look for firm, plump, well-colored clusters of grapes that are securely attached to their green stems. Fully ripe grapes are soft and tender. Remember to only rinse once you are ready to eat, as grapes will begin to deteriorate immediately when touched by water.
Serving size 1 1/2 cups (138g/14.9oz)
|% Daily Value|
|Calories from Fat||10|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.