Grapes are touted as the world’s largest fruit crop. According to statistics, around sixty million metric tons of grapes are harvested every year from more than 29,000 square miles of vineyards across the globe. Evidently, a large portion of this area belongs to wineries that grow grapes for the sole purpose of producing wine. The rest are used to grow grapes to be sold in supermarkets, dried into raisins, or processed into juices, jams and jellies.
Grapes have been cultivated by man for thousands of years. Yet, there is more to this fruit than just being a healthy snack, a wine ingredient or a condiment that can be spread on toast. Below are some interesting facts about grapes that you might want to know:
- The grape fruit is classified as a berry.
- Many countries grow grapes but the top three producers in the world are China, Italy and the United States.
- Depending on the variety, grapes can be purple, red, black, pink, yellow or green. The green-colored variety is often referred to as white grapes.
- One cup of grapes is considered as one serving. In terms of quantity, this measurement translates to about 32 seedless grapes and only has 104 calories and zero percent fat.
- Red and purple grapes are especially healthy because of the presence of a potent antioxidant, resveratrol, which is anti-aging and strengthens the immune system.
- Grapes have high sugar content; thus, they are a good source of energy. A hundred grams of grapes contains 16 grams of sugar.
- Grape seed extract, which is made from grinding the seeds of red grapes, is valued for its medicinal properties. It is used in treating various physical ailments such as poor circulation, macular degeneration, high cholesterol and nerve damage.
- The best way to store grapes is inside the refrigerator, wrapped in a paper towel and placed inside an airtight plastic bag. Leaving them too long at room temperature will cause the fruits to ferment and spoil. Freezing is also an effective way to preserve grapes. A great way to snack on frozen grapes is to sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on them, to enhance their sweetness.
- Wine grapes and table grapes are not identical. Table grapes, which are usually eaten raw, have thin skin and very few seeds. Over the years, several seedless varieties have been developed and are currently being sold in supermarkets. In contrast, wine grapes are thick-skinned and contain many seeds.
- The science of growing grapes is called viticulture. However, when the purpose of viticulture is the production of wine, it is then called as viniculture.