The Mighty Muscadine

The Mighty Muscadine

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 Facts

  • Muscadine Grapes are native to the southeastern United States.
  • The muscadine grape is known as America's first grape.  Roanoke Island, NC is home to the oldest known grapevine in the United States.  The 400 year old mother vine has a trunk over two feet thick.
  • Muscadine Grapes are available from August through early October.
  • They are large, thick-skinned grapes that typically contain 4 large seeds. They can be bronze or black in color.
  • Muscadine grapes are one of the so-called "slip-skin" varieties, meaning their skins and flesh are easily separated.
  • Muscadines are among the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature.
  • Muscadines are also fat-free, high in fiber, low in sodium and an excellent source of manganese.

How to Select and Handle Muscadine Grapes

  • Choose grapes that are uniform in shape and color with a sweet fragrance.
  • Muscadine grapes can be stored in a shallow container in the refrigerator.
  • Do not wash until ready to use.

How to Eat a Muscadine

Muscadine skin is crisper than traditional grapes, and they contain seeds.

  • It's a unique grape eating experience, but the result is well worth the effort!
  • With the stem end facing upward, put the grape in your mouth.
  • Squeeze or bite the grape, then the pulp and juice will pop out of the skin into your mouth.
  • Savor the fruity flavor! Crisp skin can easily be chewed and the seeds swallowed, but some people choose to spit out the skin and seeds.

While fresh muscadines are sometimes peeled and deseeded before they’re eaten, most of the fruit’s health benefits come from its skin and seeds. Enjoy them whole as you would other grapes, or serve them with cheese and nuts for dessert. Quarter them and toss them -- seeds and all -- into your favorite green salad, or remove the seeds to make a grape salsa suitable for fish, poultry or meat. You can also add chopped muscadines to rice, quinoa and other whole-grain dishes.

Give this delicious Muscadine Almond Smoothie a try!

Muscadine Almond Smoothie

Muscadine Almond Smoothie

10 fully ripe muscadines, rinsed
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
12 almonds
2 cups crushed ice

Blend muscadines, almond milk and almonds in blender or smoothie mixer
Add ice: pulse/mix until desired consistency
Serve in a glass.
And enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings