FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, SEPT. 26, 2011
||John Snipes, marketing specialist
NCDA&CS Marketing Division
North Carolina's native grape -- the muscadine -- now in season
RALEIGH -- Late summer and early fall mark the short, but sweet, season, for muscadine grapes. Shoppers can still find plenty of these native grapes at farmers markets, roadside stands and in some grocery stores, but they won’t want to wait too long.
“This has been a good season for muscadines, and likewise for fans of this distinctive grape,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Growers tell me that it has been a better than average crop, which has meant ample availability."
The muscadine season runs from August through early October, so grape harvests will soon be wrapping up.
Thanks to the discovery of resveratrol, an antioxidant that is found in the skin, pulp and seeds of muscadines, these grapes are enjoying a new popularity. Studies have indicated many potential health benefits to the antioxidants in muscadines.
"While many people prefer them as a fresh fruit choice, muscadines can be used in many ways,” said John Snipes, a marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Some people use the grapes to make wine, and they can be used in salads, jellies and jams, and sauces. Commercially, we are seeing more new food products being developed, including slushies, smoothies and popsicles. In addition, muscadines are used in body lotions, facial cream and soaps.”
Growers are also starting to market certified organic muscadines in select grocery stores and international markets.
For more on muscadines, go to www.ncmuscadine.org.