Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

All the fun of the fair

YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO...Candy floss flavoured grapes taste more like candy floss than candy floss.

YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO…Candy floss flavoured grapes taste more like candy floss than candy floss.

Have you tasted the new candy floss grapes yet? Have you tasted the new candy floss grapes yet? Have you tasted…

It’s my main topic of conversation these days. At least that’s what it feels like.

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Ever since these things first graced our house (and our gluttonous gobs), they have been the snack of choice for our little ‘uns. They simply can’t get enough of them.

“They can’t be good for you,” Herself suggested with a frown, as I was chopping some for breakfast one morning last week. “They’re just too good.”

And she’s right, of a fashion of course (but don’t tell her that).

The Cotton Candy variety are grapes which were first conceived in California several years ago. Horticulturalist David Cain is the man we should be thanking.

He wanted tastier fruit – who could blame him – and so with the cunning use of hand pollination, he (and no doubt a team of boffins) created a seedless grape which tastes more like that fairground staple than the fairground staple. Thanks, Dave.

And yes, just before you go thinking that these things might taste a little like candy floss  or that there might be a hint of that sugar-spun pinkness…. they taste exactly like candy floss.

Just like Herself suggested though, they are too good, and the downside – if we were to concern ourselves with such things – is that they contain quite a lot more sugar than run-o-the-mill grapes, 12 per-cent more to be exact.

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Having said that, they’re still fruit and there’s not a genetically-modified molecule in sight.

EXCITEMENT

Our little human was positively bursting with excitement when she witnessed the look on my face after the first taste. She’s a mahoosive fan of candy floss at the best of times (possibly because it’s pink and fluffy) but these are her new favourite snack for the school lunch box.

OK, so they contain a little more sugar than normal, but if it’s a choice between these or a Mini Roll in the lunch box, I know which side I’m coming down on.

By now, I’ve eaten quite a few of them myself and, without a doubt, they are exceptional. The initial rush of candy floss flavour fades as you munch through the grape, which only leads to the need to have another. If the equivalent of MSG in fruit existed, this would be it.

I think most of the taste resides in the skin, which makes me wonder how they would fare when juiced (something I’ve yet to try). But imagine using the juice of these grapes as a mixer for your drinks this Christmas. Happy Christmas!

You know the way that if you’re making ice-cream that the freezing of the mixture nullifies the sweetness?

Well, these things are so sweet, they’re even good when frozen. Yes, they’re that sweet.

They’re so powerful in fact that, if you’ve been cutting them up for the little ‘uns in your house, the scent of the grapes lingers on your hands for a long time afterwards.

NEW FLAVOURS

After some extensive research into the concept of candy floss grapes (which basically involved running a search through Google), I have discovered that newer grapes are already on the horizon.

I kid you not.

In experimental trials are gummy bear flavour, Skittles and mango.

I think we all know someone who has made Skittles vodka in the past (then spent the rest of that weekend being  violently ill), but I can definitely see myself chopping some of those into a punch this Yuletide.

Then there’s the whole question of whether the vineyards will be able to make decent wine out of candy floss grapes.

My bet is that is already happening and they’ll be targeting the unsuspecting parents of those little humans who are already munching their way through punnet after punnet.

So far my own experiments with candy floss grapes have only extended to chopping them into my cereal of a morning.

The simple fact is: They’re never around long enough for me to try anything else.

Another punnet, so.

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