From the outside, they look like any other green grape you'd have in a lunchbox, on a cheese plate, or on a forlorn fruit platter at a baby shower. They're large, plump, and tender. The light green orbs shows specks of yellow and brown. Their scent is fragrant, sweet, and fruity. In other words, they're "normal" grapes. On the outside, that is. On the inside, Cotton Candy Grapes are anything but ordinary.
Grapery, a California grape-growing company and the grower of Cotton Candy Grapes, uses "growing techniques" to create unique, flavorful varieties of grapes. They list six on their site, including their Cotton Candy variety, which has gained a cult following in recent years as its market reach is growing. (See: #cottoncandygrapes on Instagram.) These "growing techniques" don't involve genetic engineering or strange science. It's good ol' fashioned plant breeding. This same type of breeding science has given us many new varieties of apples, like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady (two of my personal favorites). So now, growers like the folks at Grapery, are turning their eyes to a new fruit.
I have to admit, the packaging and marketing pulled me in. Grapes that taste like cotton candy?! I picked up a bag instantly. Then, I brought them back to the Cooking Light offices and asked everyone I saw to try one, without telling them the "flavor" they should be tasting. Most nailed the flavor after one grape. But the reviews were mixed.
As we discovered, these grapes are cloyingly sweet. They're super sugary, too, the way actual cotton candy is--they really have nailed the flavor. After one plump grape, you'll be instantly transported to a world of pink soft-spun cotton candy. If that isn't a flavor you enjoy, you definitely won't enjoy these grapes. But if it is (and a lot of people here in the offices said it was), or if you're just really into novel new foods, these grapes are quite the unique treat.
If you've not tried them out, find a retailer near you and grab a bag if you can. But hurry! I went back to my local Fresh Market, where I found the original bag, and they were all sold out. Seems the word is getting out about these crazy flavorful grapes.
Have you tried Cotton Candy Grapes? What did you think?