The grapes most of us are all too familiar with these days, are the commercial varieties bred for shipping durability, not for sweetness and pure eating pleasure. The taste of a ripe concord makes me feel a bit religious. This may be due to growing up Presbyterian, where the thimble-like communion glasses were filled with concord grape juice instead of sweet wine. Sermons seemed to always make me hungry while perched quietly (for what seemed an eternity) on the hard wooden pews. Monthly communion was a welcome treat. When the silver trays passed my way, I would select a little cup with the most amount of juice, and savor while I sipped.
These days, when I get the chance to nibble on a concord, I am stuck with the bittersweet reminder of summer's special indulgences coming to pass. I end up eating with my eyes closed, silently promising to remind myself of these moments during months to come, when I am huddled by the wood stove, gazing at freshly fallen snow.
*Additional reasons to love them:
Concord grapes, like other purple, blue and red foods, help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, (lowering the factors that contribute to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes).
They are high in calcium, phosphorus, dietary fiber, and beneficial antioxidants (mainly resveratrol) associated with protection against cancer, viral infections, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's, and aging. Resveratrol is also antifungal in addition to being shown to modulate metabolism of lipids. A choice cultivar for wine making, jam, and juice.
*Nutritional info based on eating the whole grape, seeds and skins included.