Holy Grapes! So many varieties to devour

Concord grapes

Concord grapes—the main ingredient in classic grape juice, jellies and jams—are round, easy to peel and sport a dark-blue/purple-ish color. Concord, born in 1854 in Massachusetts, is the first hybrid grape, meaning it was created by crossing two or more grape species to form a new variety altogether. (This is different from genetically modified foods, which involve altering a food’s DNA or genetic material.) It’s also the most popular hybrid, thanks in part to its hardiness, which enables it to survive cold temperatures. Because these grapes have a more tart flavor compared to sweet green and red grapes, and they also contain seeds, they are less popular amongst consumers. Therefore, they’re more commonly used for commercial purposes, like producing grape juice, jelly and other products like cookie and pastry filling. Today, more than 336,000 tons of Concord grapes are harvested in the United States each year, with Washington state taking the spot as leading producer. If you want to try them out, you can find them in your local market starting in August through September.