Pink Muscatel Grapes
The characteristic trait of the Muscat grape is its sweet, musky, floral flavor. In addition to being eaten out of hand and made into raisins, true Muscat grapes are used to make a variety of fragrant wines and dried to make Muscatel raisins. These Seedless Muscat grapes have the same distinctive Muscat flavor without those pesky seeds. The variety from Chile that we are currently stocking is called "Mystery Seedless" The mystery is: Why do they taste so much better than the more common grape varieties?
These grapes came into existence by a natural blending not as developed or engineered grafting as a licensed variety by a big Ag. company . Very limited production due to the yield per acre ( less than half of the common Green and Red seedless varieties ) and licensed production group in Chile .
Best served at room temperature ( or close ) like a fine red wine , take out of the refrigerator 45 to 30 minutes before serving time !!!!!!
The varying color ( greenish , bronze, pink and lite red ) has nothing to do with very sweet and gentle perfumed taste , taste comes from the high BRIXX or natural sugar level of this specialty variety .
The window of availability is relatively short (normally first week of March thru first / second week of May) and then again next year from Chile .
Muscat grapes are sweet and perfumy, with a luscious distinctive flavor that separates them from other table grapes. Some of you are familiar with the Muscat flavor from sweet wines made with the grape. Recently, I saw a seedless variety of Muscat grapes, imported from Chile, in a local market. They are quite a treat.
Many people will not buy table grapes that have seeds. That's a bit unfortunate because several of the most delicious varieties, like Concord and Kyoho grapes, are unavailable in seedless versions. Now that seedless Muscats are available, perhaps they will get the attention needed to make commercial production popular.
One obstacle is that when presented in plastic package, Muscats look brownish, and consumers may prefer the more traditional brighter green, red, and purple colored grapes. The packaged color is something of an illusion. On a white plate, Muscats present an appealing golden color.
The Muscat family of grapes is among the oldest. Evidence of Muscat wine has been found in a tomb in Turkey dated to the seventh century B.C. There are color variations from golden to black. All of the varieties share the distinctive floral aroma. Muscat wine is claimed to be the only type of wine that shares the aroma of the grape from which it was made.
Muscat raisins are praised as larger and more flavorful that the raisins made from conventional seedless grapes. Muscat raisins are made from seeded grapes that have the seeds removed mechanically. They are available over the internet from Sunmaid and Bella Viva Orchards.
Look for plump, smooth grapes with good color. They should be firmly attached to a fresh-looking green stem, with no evidence of wrinkling or withering. There should be a dusty bloom on the skin of the grape itself. Like the dusty bloom on blueberries, it's a naturally occurring substance that helps protect the grapes and is a good indication of freshness. Green or white grapes will have a golden glow when they're ripe; red grapes will be a soft, rich red, and black grapes will have a deep, blue-black color
Grapes don't ripen off the vine, so what you buy is what you get. They're very delicate and need to be handled carefully. Refrigerate them dry in a plastic bag. Never wash them until you're ready to eat - moisture will make them deteriorate very quickly. Grapes will last up to a week properly stored in the refrigerator, but it's best to eat them as soon as possible.
Locations for availability:
Kings Supermarket, Fairway Markets, Baldor Specialty Foods, Agata & Valentina, Eataly, Dean & Deluca, Union Markets.
Possibly more starting, hope so.
Other recipes from Produce Pete.