Come January and your fruit basket starts looking incomplete without the fruit of the season. We bet you love grapes too and that you would be out there buying it already!One of the oldest fruits known to mankind, grape has been the favorite of many rulers, and hence found its way across the world during their invasions. The earliest known cultivation of grape dates back to about 8000 years ago, in the Near East, now known as the Middle East.
Grape arrived in India with the Persian invasion, around 1300 AD. The rulers then cultivated grape around Aurangabad and south India. Christian missionaries too, cultivated grape in Madurai and Salem districts of Tamil Nadu. By the early 20th century, the Nizam of Hyderabad started cultivation in Hyderabad.
In 1925, Shree Ramrao Jairamji Gaikwad brought grapevine from Hyderabad to Ojhar, a town near Nashik, which started what is known now as the Table Grape Revolution. Today, Nashik is the largest producer of table grapes in the country.
With numerous health benefits, grapes are getting a lot of attention in dietary literature. While there is no doubt that eating grapes is a healthy thing to do, not many of us know the different varieties of table grapes.
Below is a short guide on the most popular varieties of table grapes that are available in the Indian market right now. So next time you buy grapes, you know exactly what you are buying!
The most common variety of white grape across the world, Thompson Seedless or Sultana, is oval in shape and light green in colour. It is also widely used for making raisins. The popularity of this grape is due to its thin skin and crunchy texture.
This variety of white grape was developed by Solapur che Nanasaheb Kale. Get the name now? Sonaka is a variant of Thompson seedless, but instead of the oval shape, they are quite elongated while they do retain the thin skin. After Thompson Seedless, Sonaka Seedless is the second most exported variety from India.
This is a locally developed black grape variety, named after none other than Mr. Sharad Pawar (we are not kidding). This variety is quite sweet and the texture is crisp. The berries are oval in shape and big.
Who doesn’t like a good-looking bunch of grapes? The round shape and flaming red colour is helping this variety soar on the popularity charts. Flame seedless is very crunchy and juicy.
These are the grapes you would find wrapped in a fancy plastic bag, with an abnormally large and round berry. This variety is seeded and quite juicy. Currently, a large quantity of Red Globe is being imported in to India.
Other varieties like Fantasy Seedless, Perlette and Muscat are also grown in India. Bangalore Blue is an indigenous variety of grape which is used for making juice.
So, enjoy your grapes, and have fun identifying different grapes as you eat them!
Stay tuned for our next post about wine grapes!