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In Season – Concord Grapes

 

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For many of us, Concord grapes are associated with either peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Kiddush wine. I never really thought about eating the inky-colored, fragrant fresh table grapes until they started appearing in markets over the last few years.

Concord grapes are a dark blue/purple slip-skin (the skin separates easily from the fruit) variety of grape that is highly aromatic—yet largely ignored by consumers who prefer the seedless varieties.

Due to their high pectin levels, the grapes are often used to make pies, jellies, juices, and wine. The early Jews who settled in the Northeast used the abundant, native North American and local grape to make a sweet and palatable Kiddush wine. (Fermented Concord grapes are described as “foxy” or musky in flavor when used to produce dry wine.)

Fresh Concord grapes are aromatic, brightly-flavored, addicting, and loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids. They have the same health
benefits as drinking red wine, but without the alcohol. These intoxicatingly delicious grapes are only in season for a short time each fall, so scoop them up while you can.

Concord Grape Glaze

Concord Grape Glaze

The smell of fresh Concord grapes is as intoxicating as an orchard of fragrant blossoms. The flavor of Concord grapes is crisp and clean with a balanced sweetness. Fresh Concord grapes are a world apart from their canned, jellied, and jarred counterparts. The processed grapes are cloyingly sweet with none of the brightness of the fresh ones. This Concord Grape Glaze is an aigre doux (sweet and sour) sauce with aromatic attitude. Sweet, sour, and so fragrant, it is sure to become a family favorite. The sauce nicely complements the flavor of turkey and is amazing on duck and chicken. It can be made up to 2 days before serving.  Learn how to Spatchcock a Chicken for easy quick cooking.

Concord Grape and Pear Galette

Concord Grape and Pear Galette

My husband is also a chef and specializes in gorgeous French pastries. But, when we entertain at home, and we entertain often, we prefer simple, big flavored, non-fussy desserts. This galette is a great make-ahead dessert that allows the cook to enjoy time with friends and family.

Concord Grape Fizz

Concord Grape Fizz

Refreshing and as delicious as it is beautiful, Concord Grape Fizz is perfect for kids and adults.

concord grape sorbet

Concord Grape Sorbet

Try my Concord Grape Sorbet in the Grape Fizz or on top of the galette.  Enjoy the Season!

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About Chef Laura Frankel

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I am a chef, restauranteur, cookbook author and mother, you can find out more about me on my blog: ChefLaurasKosher.com

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