Inventory, 18 lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 10/11/14
Champagne grapes are in season from late spring through early fall.
Regardless of what the name may imply, the Champagne grape is rarely used to make wine. The fruit's popularity resurfaced in the late 20th century along with a palate for mini-sized fruits. Champagne grapes, aka Black Corinth grapes, are, in fact, the smallest variety of all seedless grapes. Black Corinth grapes are not the exclusive Champagne grape, there are red and green varieties as well, though very uncommon. Corinth grapes are one of the very few Parthenocarpic type of grapes in production - Parthenocarpic grapes have absolutely no seed development at all, compared to other seedless varieties, which develop seeds and eventually the seeds naturally abort.
Champagne grapes are the individual pearl-sized fragile skinned fruits, aka the berries, of the seedless grape variety, Black Corinth. When eaten fresh, they are known as a table grape. In dried form the Champagne grape is transformed into a raisin, in which they are known as the Zante currant, or dried currant. When the berries are fresh, at their peak maturity, they are intensely sweet and succulent with a mere hint of tartness. As a currant, the grapes' sweetness is magnified, their size dramatically reduced and their texture typical of a raisin.
Champagne grapes are ubiquitously utilized for garnishing champagne flutes and decorating desserts and cheese trays. These traditional uses as an accoutrement merely celebrate the fruit as a table grape. The grapes can also be used in many other forms, added to pastries, such as scones, muffins and cakes. Like many other fruits, Champagne grapes make a great addition to fruit cereals, granola and yogurt. They can also be cooked and reduced down into a jelly, added to sauces for savory pairings with lamb, game and pork. In dried currant form the Champagne grapes can also be added to pastries as well as couscous, rice, fruit and green salads and paired equally with aged and fresh cheeses alongside charcuterie meats.
The Black Corinth grape's given name is of Greek origins, as is the fruit itself. The port of Corinth, a Greek harbor was the primary source of export of the fruit. The Black Corinth was introduced to America in the late 1800's. The first successful commercial crop was established by David Fairchild, a famous American botanist who introduced more than 200,000 plants into US agriculture. It was the Thompson Seedless grape company, though, that cultivated the Corinth grape into true commercial success via the improved cultivation method called girdling, creating higher production, yields and prices. The Corinth grape lost its name to the Champagne grape as a marketing campaign. Allin Corrin, a table grape producer from Reedley, CA, showcased the fruit in an idealised pictorial editorial in Sunset Magazine alongside a flute of champagne, re-branding the grape forever as a "Champagne Grape".
Recipes that include Champagne Grapes. One is easiest, three is harder.
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