WIS: California Grapes

The gold rush may have ended, but the grape rush continues. Here’s a story on how California grapes achieve grape-ness!

For more than 2 centuries, Californians have been cultivating grapes and ever since the fresh grape boom hit in 1839 when a former trapper from Kentucky, William Wolfskill, planted the state’s first table grape vineyard in the Mexican colonial pueblo now known as Los Angeles. An agricultural entrepreneur, Wolfskill was the first farmer to ship fresh grapes to Northern California. R.B. Blowers expanded the idea and sent the first 22-pound box of California grapes to Chicago via the new transcontinental railroad in 1869. California grapes come in three colors – green, red and black.

Pro Tip On Grapes:-

With these simple tips, you’ll be guaranteed a great grape experience

1st: Selecting Grapes

Look for grape bunches with green, pliable stems and plump berries.  Do you see a powdery-white coating on the grapes?  That’s bloom and it’s good!  Bloom is a naturally occurring substance that protects grapes from moisture loss and decay. Green, red or black…which color should you choose?  Try them all to experience different flavors and textures.

2nd: Storing Grapes

Grapes can keep for up to two weeks when following a few simple steps:

– Always refrigerate for maximum shelf life

– Store unwashed and dry; rinse before serving

– Avoid storing compressed or squeezed

– To avoid odor absorption, do not store grapes next to onions or leeks

3rd: Enjoying Grapes

Grapes can be eaten fresh or frozen and are a wonderful addition of flavor and texture to anything from salads to sides, drinks to desserts. Whether sautéed, roasted, grilled or even pickled, grapes make it easy for anyone to take their snacks and meals to the next level.

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