FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 8, 2010
||John Snipes, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
It must be time for a muscadine
RALEIGH – Although summer is coming to an end, North Carolina farms have another sweet surprise for consumers—the muscadine. Growing in clusters of bronze, purple and black, these native grapes reach the peak of their harvest season in early September and are available through early October.
“This year’s muscadines are big, bountiful and beautiful, and growers are expecting an ideal crop,” said Agricultural Commissioner Steve Troxler. “You can find muscadines in grocery stores, roadside stands, farmers markets and pick-your-own fields.”
Thriving in hot, humid and dry environments, the sweet and juicy fruits were first noted by Sir Walter Raleigh and have since had a prominent presence in the state.
“As a result of higher consumer demand, local muscadine planting has steadily increased in recent years,” said John Snipes, marketing specialist for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Not only are the fruits bursting with flavor, but they are also full of nutritional value. Research has found that muscadines contain antioxidants, as well as resveratrol, which may play a role in the prevention of heart disease and high cholesterol.”
Typically muscadines are eaten fresh. However, the grape can also be used in jellies, pies, wines and juices. For recipes, nutritional information and tips for selecting, handling and preparing muscadines, go to www.ncmuscadine.org.