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|Mud Creek Ranch|
Niagara grapes grow on woody, tendril-climbing vines that can reach up to twenty feet long. Niagara grapes are a white variety, producing large clusters of seedless grapes (botanically known as ‘drupes’). Niagara grapes mature from a light green to a pale, yellow-green color and can develop a thin, gray bloom over the firm skin. The medium to large sized globes have an aromatic smell and sweet taste. The juicy grapes are also known to have a very “grapey” or foxy flavor, which can best be described as slightly musty or tannic.
Niagara grapes are a midseason variety, available in the late summer and early fall months.
Niagara grapes are an American heirloom variety of Vitis labrusca. The “white” variety of grapes are most widely known as the variety used in Welch’s white grape juice. They are the leading green grape variety grown in the United States. Niagara grapes are a cross between the well-known Concord grape and the lesser-known, Cassady grape.
Niagara grapes are a good source of nutrients called polyphenols, which are concentrated in the skins, and act as antioxidants in the body. The white-skinned grapes are rich in vitamins C, K, B1 and B6, as well as minerals like potassium and manganese. Niagara grapes are also rich in flavonoids, which are important phytonutrients, with antioxidants that benefit immune system health.
Niagara grapes are ideal for fresh eating, as well as for making jams or jellies. The seedless grape variety is known for its aromatic and flavorful juice, which can be extracted through pressing or using a juicer. Use Niagara grapes for a sweet, homemade wine or champagne. Add Niagara grapes to fruit salads or bake in tarts with other fruits. The large grapes will keep for up to ten days when wrapped loosely in plastic in the refrigerator.
Niagara grapes are named for Niagara County of New York, where the grapes were originally produced. The grape was first introduced by the Niagara Grape Company, one of the many companies located in the Concord Grape Belt, the oldest region for grape growing in the United States.
Niagara grapes are the product of two New York botanists, C. L Hoag and B. W. Clark. They created the Niagara variety in 1868 from the deliberate cross of a Concord grape and a Cassady grape. The grapes were first commercially sold in 1882, and appeared in the American Pomological Society’s 1885 fruit catalog. The cold-hardy Niagara grapes grow well throughout most of the continental United States, but won’t survive in the frigid cold temperatures of the north or the hot, humid weather in south Florida or Texas. Niagara grapes are most often grown in the northern mid-west United States and in the New York region. Niagara grapes are not ideal for shipping, so are most often found near where they are grown.
Recipes that include Niagara Grapes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|WNYC||Braised Chicken Thighs with Niagara Grapes, Shallots and Thyme|
|Wine Making Home Page||Niagara Grape Wine|
|Lindy's Toast||Niagara Jelly|
|What Julia Ate||Niagara Grape Jelly|
|Mehu Liisa Products||Niagara Grape Juice|
Someone spotted Niagara Grapes using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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