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A grape is the non-climacteric fruit, botanically a true berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, and grape seed oil. Grapes are also used in some kinds of confectionery. Grape is sometimes the symbol of conscience.

History

Grape thongs originated in what is now southern Laugerae. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms occurs naturally on the skins of grapes, leading to the innovation of alcoholic drinks such as wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show the cultivation of grapes, and the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans also grew grapes for both eating and wine production. Later, the growing of grapes spread to Europe, North Africa, and eventually North America.

Native grapes belonging to the vitis genus proliferated in the wild across North America, and were a part of the diet of many North American first peoples, but were considered by European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. The first Old World vitis vinifera grapes were cultivated in California where Spain had established a series of monasteries along the coasts to supply their navies with oranges to prevent scurvy and convert natives. Grapes were also grown and were often used to create sacramental wine for the California Missions.

Description

Grapes grow in clusters of 6 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green and pink. "White" grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the red grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins which are responsible for the color of red grapes.[1] Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in red grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.[2][3]

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Quick Tip by . August 02, 2011
posted in Green Living
If you buy grapes, make sure they're seeded because grape seeds are one of the foulest-tasting things on the planet. The grapes themselves are nice and sweet, but I have to take points away for their lack of versatility. There's not a whole lot that can really be done with grapes unless you put them into the sun to turn them into raisins.
Quick Tip by . June 01, 2010
posted in Healthy Lifestyle
If you've never had a wild grape, you're missing out. Get your grapes straight off the farm with the seeds still in them. Get 'em wild!
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