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  • W. Blake Kooi

Wild Grape Season is Here

Wild grapes make more interesting food than the typical grapes found in the grocery store. Why? Because grocery store grapes are cultivated to be sweet. Wild grapes are very tart, so when made into a jam or wine it provides a fuller and more complimentary flavor. If you take grocery store grapes that are already sweet and add sugar to make jam, you just get sweet on sweet. When you take tart wild grapes and add sugar to make jam you get a full-bodied flavor sensation. It’s fairly easy to identify wild grapes. Just try not to confuse them with the Virginia Creeper plant that normally grows alongside them. Those berries are not edible. The Sure Jell recipe for grape jam works great. Remember, when working with grapes, you have to refrigerate the juice overnight and strain out the tartaric acid crystals the next day unless you want to cause some unpleasant digestive issues. You typically don’t have to look far to find wild grapes. You may be surprised to find them growing along your fence. Don’t let them pass by another season unnoticed.

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