By the looks of it, cotton candy grapes may not impress you much. Certainly, if you’re looking for a dead giveaway to separate this wonder-tasting grape from other everyday kinds, you could be disappointed. Appearances can be deceiving. But truly, thanks to David Cain, the horticulturalist who painstakingly cross-pollinated countless grapes to get the desired grape variety, the world is a better place to live in. Definitely. For the moment you take a bite, you’ll know these grapes are out of this world. And worth seeking.
That’s a lot of goodies for you. To boot, there are over 72 million tons of this wonderful fruit that are cultivated yearly all over the world. Imagine all that. That’s one heck of a fruit demand – more than apples or bananas or even oranges. And the best part is these bunches of small servings come with a lot of vitamins and antioxidants. No kidding. We’re talking about vitamin B, vitamin K, and copper. Even phytonutrients. Like polyphenols, carotenoids, and resveratrol. That’s already a lot for your body and your heart on anyone’s list. The good news is cotton candy grapes are all that plus more. These grapes taste a lot better than your everyday grapes. Fact is there might be nothing everyday about them. Read on.
History of the Designer Grape
To give an accurate account of how the delicious cotton candy variety of grapes came to be, we need to take a step back. Into the history of grape cultivation. Or what is scientifically known as viticulture.
For one, grape as fruit has been cultivated longer than you might think. Viticulture dates back to 6500 BC. A long way back. Experts from the University of Missouri point out there is strong evidence of grape growing at that time before Christ in places which are now called Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Civilization thrived with grapes. And it’s no accident wine, a grape product, was a-plenty in ancient Rome. Or for that matter, ancient Greece.
As you are well aware, not all grapes are created equal. Color for one is different from one variety to another.
However, for the longest time, Concord grapes caught the attention of experts. It is this particular type of grapes which is colored purple or blue that contains higher contents of phytonutrients. This along with red grapes. What makes concord grapes stand out, even more, is the superior flavor.
It was the desire to combine concord grapes and Vitis vinifera, another grape variety known for its firmness, that drove the fervor of expert Davin Cain to come up with cotton candy variety.
Cotton Candy Grapes: Amazing Fun Facts
What makes this ever-in-demand new variety of grapes special. How come it took some time to get it out in the market? We’re giving you the lowdown below.
The cotton candy that’s not cotton candy.
If you’re a sucker for cotton candy, then this is the closest thing you can get to a cotton candy without having to eat something that’s sticky. No kidding. We’re talking about a sweet and yet juicy alternative that carries a hint of the much-adored vanilla flavor. Just like ice cream. And yes, you’re like tasking that pink sweetness of spun sugar. That’s truly sweeter than most.
Sweeter than normal.
Yes indeed. If you’ve been bored by all the regular sweetness you’ll find in grapes, then it’s time you taste this carnival-evoking fruit. For the record, you’re looking at 12-percent higher in sweetness with cotton candy grapes compared to those regular grocery-bought varieties so common in the market today. Truly, it’s one of a kind. You see, for every 100 grams of this grape (i.e., 0.2 lbs), you’re getting 18 grams of sweet sugar (0.03 lbs), National Public Radio (NPR) reports.
Labor of love. Hand-pollination.
It may be tempting to conclude that this new breed of grapes happened overnight. No, sir. Cotton candy grape took time. David Cain, the fruit geneticist who developed them, used hand pollination. Yes, you guessed it right. That’s painstakingly doing the rounds. Matching one particular breed of grape to another by hand. With the sole purpose of getting a better variety.
No genetic engineering, please.
Yes, Cain and team made sure they utilized but natural methods of selection to arrive at the right plant. It was no accident that concord grapes were singled out. These were the most in-demand grapes for their sweetness. However, the variety was not as sturdy. Another breed named Vitis vinifera had that firmness. The trick then was to combine these too. To do that, however, the team used natural processes to the hilt. Just like the great biologist Gregor Mendel did with his common pea plants. Absolutely no alteration of the grapevine genes was introduced.
It took 12 years to develop.
The process took time. Cross-pollination is a hit and miss process. Hundreds of thousands of plants had to be created, placed in test tubes to grow. It was time-consuming, to say the least. But it was all worth it. After a decade or so, the results were stunning. Making anybody’s mouth water.
Absolutely, no flavoring used.
It may have topped the list on sweetness but don’t get it all wrong. There is absolutely no flavoring utilized on this one. It’s pure natural goodness that’s going to make you long for more. Indeed, no cotton candy flavoring is added to make cotton candy grapes taste like cotton candy.
It’s a patented breed.
The makers of cotton candy variety of grapes made sure their work doesn’t get spoiled by unfair business practices. As this is a new breed of plant David Cain et al have rights to it according to the patent law. This is no small feat. You can only be granted a patent if you have invented a distinct plant as in this case. Also, you need to be able to reproduce the breed asexually.
Now what that means is nobody else in this world can grow or sell the patented plant – without the consent of the patent holder, in this case, Cain of International Fruit Genetics and Grapery, the California-based distribution company.