Cotton candy grapes? Is this even a real thing? Can this be a real fruit? Do they even taste like cotton candy? My initial reaction was that this was some sort of gimmick. I love cotton candy, and I love grapes. I took one for the team and did some research to save you the time.
Do Cotton Candy Grapes Really Exist?
Yes, cotton candy grapes are a real thing. They are an output of food engineering and plant breeding. Plant breeding creates new hybrid fruits by creating a new flavor profile between existing plants. The cotton candy grape was bred by International Fruit Genetics, a California based company that is out to produce a better variety of grapes. These grapes taste like the fluffy stuff without the mess.
The grapes are a patented crossbreed between a concord-like grape and a Vitis vineferia. The latter grape is typically found in the Mediterranean.
When and Where?
Cotton candy grapes have a really limited availability right now. The growing season lasts for about a month, from the middle of August to the middle of September. The Grapery, also a California company, ships the grapes across the United States. The cotton candy grapes have been sold at Costco, Kroger, Lucky’s Market, Meijer, Piggly Wiggly, Trader Joes, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Winn-Dixie. Be on the lookout as this availability is limited for a short amount of time. Store locator here.
International Fruit Genetics is also working to extend the growing season. They are working with some companies, one in Mexico, to produce similar results. Some Mexican grapes are similar to the California-based grapes, but they are grown from May to June.
Cotton Candy Grape Nutrition
Part of the cotton candy flavor comes from the fact that these grapes have more than 10 percent more sugar than the typical grape. A half cup of cotton candy grapes (serving size) consists of 50 calories and 14 grams of sugar.
Cotton Candy Grapes GMO and Organic?
There has to be a catch. Can these grapes be natural? Surely, there is some sort of GMO involved. Rest assured, the cotton candy grapes is created by an all-natural breeding practice. There is not any GMO or other unnatural cotton candy flavoring added. In fact, there are currently not any grapes on the market that are genetically engineered.
The Grapery makes every effort to use safe agricultural products. The company is not certified organic by the USDA, but they are working on getting certified. All of their fruits are tested for residues before harvesting, ensuring that they are safe and healthy to consume.
Do Cotton Candy Grapes Have Seeds?
Cotton Candy grapes are made to be seedless. That said, all grapes, even seedless ones have seeds. Usually you don’t know that though as the seeds never develop to anything recognizable.
If the grapes are left longer on the vine, they may be open to a more noticeable seed. Sometimes, the Grapery takes this risk.