The recent history of domesticating the native cold-hardy Katuah Muscadine grape began about seven years ago when Chuck and Jeannie Blethen were directed to some wild muscadine grapevines growing up into the trees at the edge of a forest near Hot Springs, North Carolina. They talked with an old gentleman who was trying to propagate them. They dug up a small vine or two to transplant in their vineyard and started learning about muscadines.
If you've lived in North Carolina for long, you're probably familiar with muscadine grapes. They're the large, round, think-skinned fruits that are often transformed into sweet wines and jellies. They're "the grape of choice in the South," according to Terry Pulley, owner of Granny Pearl's Farm, which offers you-pick muscadines and scuppernongs in Zebulon.
After evaluating 58 of the roughly 100 muscadine grape varieties available, University of Florida scientists have ranked the Top 10 based on high potential for consumer preference.
Muscadine grapes just might be the best kept secret in the South. According to a recent University of Florida-based experiment, more consumers – if already familiar with them — are apt to choose muscadine grapes over other varieties.
When I think of summer in the produce business, I think of grapes. August is the time of year when grapes are at their peak of flavor, and one of the many “new” grape varieties is Muscadine.
As we browsed the displays at the farmer's market, I passed a small stack of berry boxes full of strange dark purple fruits, bigger than cherries and perfectly round. "Muscadines," I read from the sign. I turned to my husband Morgan. "What are muscadines?"
Muscadine or Scuppernong?
What's the difference between a muscadine and a scuppernong? Officially, scuppernongs are one variety of muscadine grapes, so all scuppernongs are muscadines, but not all muscadines are scuppernongs.
Muscadine Offers Flavor No Man Can Replicate
It was always a contest to see who could find the first one.
I’m sure Daddy would just pretend like he hadn’t seen the dark purple jewels dangling directly over my head when I ecstatically made my find known and stood tall in my saddle trying to reach the long-awaited fruit of the vine.
Cottle Farms Muscadine Grape - Characteristics of Varieties
Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Agents
Many of the phytonutrients present in the muscadine grape have been recognized as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents – the most powerful of these concentrated in the skins and seeds.