My pick this week are Red Seedless (or more correctly Crimson Seedless) grapes. Traditionally, Australia has preferred the white seedless variety because that was what we have grown up with. There is no doubt that early in the season the whites are the better grape. However, now and going forward, that is not true. The great majority of white grapes are now picked and in cold storage. The crimsons are still being picked and hence the fresher grape.
I would like to correct a couple of important misconceptions about these grapes. Firstly, on colour, consumers generally pay a substantial premium for highly coloured fruit. In fact, it is more often that the pale, even white berries are the sweetest, as this is the fruit that has been subjected to the hottest weather. This hot weather makes them go pale, but the same dose of sun sweetens the fruit. Secondly, smaller fruit is absolutely as good eating as large fruit. Often this smaller, paler fruit is what is sold in bags as opposed to the larger well coloured fruit, and though not as pleasing to the eye, is a pretty good deal. I always pinch a grape out of the bag or off the stack and try before I buy, you would be mad not too!
HOW TO PICK
Choose grapes with a crisp firm flesh. Avoid soft or wrinkled fruit.
HOW TO STORE
Store unwashed grapes in an airtight container or in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. For longer lasting grapes, wash only just before serving.