If you thought table grapes were the same all year round, it’s time to have a taste test.
If you thought table grapes were the same all year round, it’s time to have a taste test. The year’s best crop is fresh from Mexico. From May through July, the finest harvest of green, red and black grapes will begin to hit supermarket shelves.
These grapes’ bright color and crisp texture signify the end of winter, when fresh, new harvests begin arriving from the Mexican state of Sonora. Grapes for wine and brandy have been grown in Sonora since the days of the Spanish missionaries almost four centuries ago. Out of this tradition, growers in Sonora began growing fresh grapes that are enjoyed across the world. Sonora grapes are coveted for their notably sweet, juicy flavor.
With more than 30,000 acres of vineyards, Sonora supplies 300 million pounds of grapes for U.S. consumption.
Grapes offer several benefits. Not only are they a handy snack, but they’re a unique addition to many summer dishes, including green salads and fruit salads. They enhance the beauty of these dishes as well as their nutritional value. One and a half cups of grapes provide 25 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin C, as well as fiber, vitamin A, calcium and iron.
Try pairing mango and red onion with grapes in Red Grape and Mango Relish, a fragrant, colorful sauce to serve warm or cold. Use it as a topping for grilled chicken or fish, or just enjoy it with some tortilla chips.
Red Grape and Mango Relish
3 cups seedless red grapes
2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 mango, pitted and diced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
Pure grapes in a blender. Strain pure, separating juice and grape pulp. Place pulp aside. Pour freshly strained juice into a saucepan and bring to a simmer with ginger, garlic, allspice and red pepper flakes. In a separate bowl, combine grape pulp with diced onion, cilantro, mango, lime juice and salt. Add the heated mixture and stir gently to combine all ingredients. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 3 cups.