Grapes are juicy, sweet berries that grow in bunches. Their skin can be black (purple or ruby) or white (yellow or green), while their translucent flesh tends to be pale green. Seeded varieties have a stronger, more fragrant flavour than seedless grapes.
Avoid woody or wrinkled grapes. Grapes that hang loosely from their stalks should be sweeter, but will have a shorter lifespan.
Grapes store for a couple of weeks lightly wrapped in the fridge.
Some grapes don’t peel easily, in which case cover a small quantity of grapes with boiling water, wait for a couple of minutes, then drain and peel. To seed, halve and pick the seeds out with a teaspoon or the point of a knife. In theory, the seeds can be removed with the loop of a hair pin. Add raw grapes to sweet and savoury salads, as well as tart and pavlova toppings, or serve on their own with a fine cheese.
Grapes are delicious cooked, for example, in Sole Véronique, or in a breadcrumb stuffing for chicken. Extract grape juice for a jelly or sorbet by lightly cooking the grapes until their skin pops and they start to release lots of juice. Strain and season with lime juice.
Article by Sybil Kapoor