Lose yourself to the gorgeous, delicate-skinned, sensually sweet orbs of Jelly Drop™ grapes paired with wholesome, nutty bulgur in this deliciously healthy salad bursting with flavor and texture.
The Difference Between Table Grapes and Wine Grapes
Red grapes, green grapes, globe grapes, and more. There are thousands of grape varieties in the world, some are table grapes and some are wine grapes. What’s the difference between table grapes and wine grapes? I came across this interesting tutorial by Wine Folly that explains it all in easy to understand terms:
Table Grapes Are Fat and Sassy Table grapes are grown in a way to make them more physically appealing. They are larger, seedless, with thicker pulp and thinner skins to give them that ideal ‘pop’ when you eat them. Table grapes have less acidity and also less sugar than a wine grape.
Wine Grapes Are Lean and Mean Wine grapes are grown to produce the sweetest and most potent grapes. They are smaller, riddled with seeds, have thicker skins, and higher juice content (vs. pulp). Wine grapes are delicate and difficult to transport. When you eat a fresh wine grape they ooze apart leaving you with crunchy bitter seeds and chewy grape skin.
When driving by vineyards the type of grape (table grape vs. wine grape) being grown can be identified by the type of trellis. Wine grape vineyards commonly use vertical trellises to manage the greenery (aka canopy) and grape exposure to sun. The goal with wine grapes is to concentrate the flavor of the grapes produced – growers do not want overly vigorous vines that will produce a lot of average quality grapes, a lower vigor vine will produce fewer more concentrated grapes. More concentrated grapes = better wine.
Table grapes are grown in a way to reduce clusters from rubbing other clusters, stems or leaves. A trellis system that lets the grapes hang independently is better for producing picture-perfect table grapes. Table grapes tend to be more vigorous than wine grapes and grow in areas with soils high in nutrients such as river valleys.
Melissa’s Produce Grape Farm Tour
In 2012, I joined Melissa’s Produce on a tour of California’s Central Valley and had the opportunity to meet three growers that Melissa’s works closely with – all three were passionate farmers but with three distinctly different approaches to farming. One farm was The Grapery owned by Jim Beagle and his partner, Jack Pondol, who we distinguished as the “MBA farmers” because they are heavily invested in scientific research to achieve higher yields and bring new grape varieties, such as Cotton Candy, to market. If you’re looking for grapes beyond the ordinary green and red ones in most markets, check out the numerous grape varieties that Melissa’s carries here. With names like Jelly Drop™, Candy Sweets™, Christmas Crunch, Flame, Muscatel, Champagne, and Moscato (black, green, and red), why limit yourself to the mundane.
Sweet Jelly Drop Grapes
Today’s salad is bursting with flavor, texture, and color with some oomph from hearty bulgur, crunchy celery, and almonds. Deliciously healthy, it indulges your senses and nurtures your body with goodness. And aren’t we a little bored with quinoa? I’ve been changing it up with ancient grains lately and loving it. Speaking of love, purple is the color of passion and you’ll lose yourself to the gorgeous, delicate-skinned, sensually sweet orbs of Jelly Drop™ Grapes which are a hybrid of the popular Thompson table grape and the seeded Concord grape – you know, the one that goes into Concord Grape Jelly.
Grape and Almond Bulgur Salad Recipe
- 2 cups cooked Bob's Red Mill bulgur
- 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil*
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup for vegan
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup Jelly Drop grapes about 4 ounces
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese optional
- 1/4 cup sliced raw toasted almonds
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
Cook the bulgur according to package instructions. 1 cup of uncooked bulgur will yield about 3-1/2 cups. Allow to cool. Can be made the day before.
Whisk together the olive oil, champagne vinegar, sumac, and honey.
Fluff the bulgur with a fork or spoon. Mix in the celery and red onion. Stir in the dressing. Add the grapes, goat cheese, mint, and almonds - reserve a tablespoon of almonds to sprinkle on top of the salad - and stir to combine all the ingredients. Garnish with mint leaves and reserved almonds. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until ready to serve.