September 24, 2021 15:16
Grapes – the oldest taste of autumn

Being grown and harvested for more than 8000 years, grapes are proudly one of the oldest and most valuable fruits of all. Its origin can be traced back to the Eastern Mediterranean regions and by today, it can be found in almost every part of the world. Read about the next content of our ingredient of the month series: the grapes.

Grapes grow in clusters, with fleshy, rounded berries from 6 to 300 pieces. Depending on their types, the fruits are very rich in colours with different variants of black, blue, green or even pink. The berries have a unique sweet taste and most of them have small edible seeds under their crispy skin.

Did you know?

• There are nearly 9000 grape types in the world. Ezerjó and Irsai Olivér are among the most famous Hungarian ones.

• The widely known „white” grapes are actually green in colour.

• Grape seed oil is a valuable extract used for healing.       

• The Japanese Ruby Roman grapes are among the most expensive fruits of the world.

But you can get more than just a sweet and juicy fruit. Grapes consist of nearly 80% of water having a very low level of cholesterol and fat, besides they also contain a large amount of antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin C and K.

Grapes in your cup

Grapes like warm, sheltered, sunny fields. Thanks to the country’s great geographical location, grapes have been grown for thousands of years, cultivated for noshing or even making wine. There are 22 wine regions in Hungary covering nearly all parts of the country. The wine region of Balaton-Uplands and the region of Szekszárd are some of the most famous ones, while Tokaj Wine Region on the north-eastern part of Hungary is among the UNESCO world heritage sites as well. Several Hungarian wine types, such as the white dessert wine named Tokaji Aszú or the red wine called Bull’s Blood of Eger (Egri Bikavér) are known all over the world.  

Grapes are harvested typically in the autumn months from September to November. Harvests are common social events for Hungarian families with music, drinks and peculiar Hungarian meals.  As being a traditional part of harvests, people taste the fresh grape juice called “must” made of the newly harvested berries as well.

There are also numerous grape harvest festivals with many traditions varying from region to region, where you can taste the wines of the local winemakers. The harvest festivals around Lake Balaton (such as Badacsony and Balatonboglár) or the festivals in the region of Eger are among the most famous ones in Hungary. Etyek-Buda wine region, which lies only 30 km from the capital, also gives home to numerous harvest events for the wine lovers.  

Grapes on your plates

Thanks to its special sweet taste and high content of nutrients, grapes can be found in the cuisines of many cultures. From grape salad to grape jam, this tasty fruit is prepared in numerous ways: you can eat it raw, baked in various cookies or use their green leaves served for stuffed rice dishes. The dried grapes called „raisin” are also beloved ingredients of many cakes all over the world. And if you want to boost your energy, some fresh grape juice will be the perfect choice for you.

By eating grapes you can get something sweet, hearty and wholesome at one go. So get the oldest taste of the season, your health and taste buds will surely love it. 

Links and sources: MindmegetteJustFunFacts; Ankert;

Photo by photosforyou on Pixabay, Photo by János Bencs on Pixabay

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