Don’t overlook the simple grape! Used for making jam, juice, raisins, seed oil and wine the possibilities for this fruit are endless.
IDEAL GROWING CONDITIONS
Table grapes grow well in a sunny garden with good soil moisture, high- quality organic fertiliser, and a strong trellis for support. They will require serious pruning once the fruit and leaves have gone, but they will come back to life in the spring. The plants are self-fertile, so don’t need any other varieties for pollination. For best results, plant two-year- old vines grown on strong rootstock.
HOW TO STORE
Grape harvesting begins in the late summer and continues throughout autumn. The fruit itself does not store well, as once picked, the sugars will start to break down quickly. You can store at room temperature for 2-3 days, but if you want to keep them any longer grapes must be stored in the fridge. Table or eating grapes tend to have thicker skins than the varieties used for wine. Grapes can also be frozen immersed in a sugar syrup.
HOW TO COOK
Always wash grapes well, either by rinsing or soaking in warm water for 20-30 minutes. This will help ensure all bird, fruit and dust residue is removed. If grapes have skins that are too thick, they can be scalded with hot water and then peeled. Remove any seeds once cut in half. To prevent grapes from discolouring, dress with lemon juice and cover with wet paper towels until required. To cook, sauté grapes in a pan with a little olive oil to lightly blister the skins until just beginning to split, but no longer.