Gum Drops® Grapes
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Gum Drops© grapes are comprised of several small to medium-sized varieties, with each grape averaging 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter and having a round to oval appearance. The grapes are generally smaller than other common red and black grape cultivars and have an edible, faint purple-grey bloom covering the surface, quickly wiped away with water. The skin is smooth, taut, and thin, showcasing dark red and purple hues, and each variety will showcase a different coloring. Underneath the surface, the flesh is translucent to slightly opaque, semi-firm, and aqueous, being found seedless or sometimes encasing tiny, edible, and unnoticeable seeds. The flesh also has a crisp, snappy, and tender consistency. Gum Drops© grapes are sweeter than the average grape and have a sugary taste with subtle acidity, creating a pleasant, sweet, and fruity finish.
Gum Drops© grapes are available in the mid-summer through early winter.
Gum Drops© grapes, botanically a part of the Vitis genus, is a marketing name for several varieties of grapes belonging to the Vitaceae family. The grapes grow in loose, medium-sized clusters and are specialty table grapes developed by fruit geneticist Dr. David Cain of International Fruit Genetics, also known as IFG, a table grape breeding company based in California Three varieties of grapes are sold under the Gum Drops© name, and each cultivar ripens at different times, providing availability throughout the season. The varieties are also harvested at peak maturity to ensure their flavoring and quality remain consistent. The name Gum Drops© was created from evaluations given by a panel of consumer taste testers who commented that the grapes had a candy-like flavor reminiscent of gum drops or gummy bears. The name highlighted the grape's fruity flavor and was given to attract consumers seeking fruits with a sweet taste. Gum Drops© grapes are primarily consumed fresh as a table grape and are valued as a healthier alternative to processed desserts and candy. It is important to note that Gum Drops@ grapes are not genetically modified. Despite their sweet flavoring, the grapes were produced using natural methods of selected breeding and are grown without artificial flavoring or additives.
Gum Drops© grapes have not been extensively studied for their nutritional properties. Like other black and red grapes, Gum Drops© grapes are a source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, and vitamin K to assist in faster wound healing. The grapes also provide antioxidants to protect the body against inflammation and guard against the damage inflicted by free radicals and contain other nutrients, including B vitamins and flavonoids.
Gum Drop© grapes have a sugary-sweet taste suited for fresh preparations. The grapes are typically consumed straight out of hand, and their sweetness is enjoyed in salads, grain bowls, or fruit medleys. The grapes can also be served on charcuterie boards, sliced and combined into dips, blended into smoothies, or frozen and eaten as a sweet treat. The fruity taste of Gum Drops© grapes is popularly paired with dessert preparations and can be used as a fresh topping over ice cream, parfaits, yogurt, sorbets, and tarts. The grapes can also be baked into cakes or roasted and served with savory meat dishes, combined with grains, or mixed with roasted cauliflower as a creative side. Beyond culinary preparations, Gum Drops© grapes can be frozen and dropped into sparkling beverages, muddled into cocktails, or crushed with mint and added to juices. Gum Drops© grapes pair well with cheeses such as gorgonzola, brie, and gouda, honey, fruits including melons, strawberries, blueberries, and apples, and herbs such as mint, basil, and rosemary. Whole, unwashed grape bunches will keep for one week when stored in a bag in the refrigerator. The grapes can also be frozen in plastic bags and kept for extended use.
Gum Drops© grapes is a branding descriptor used for several individual varieties of red and black grapes that are sold under the same name. The three main cultivars in the Gum Drops© grape line are Candy Snaps™ grapes, Candy Hearts™ grapes, and Candy Dreams™ grapes. Candy Snaps™ grapes, also patented as IFG Twenty-One, are the first grapes to be offered under the Gum Drops© line in the season and are a smaller than average red grape with a crunchy texture and tropical, fruity flavor showcasing strawberry undertones. Candy Hearts™ grapes, or patented as IFG Nineteen, arrive in stores after Candy Snaps™ and are a slightly larger red grape cultivar with a crisp consistency and fruity, pleasant aftertaste with muscat nuances. The final variety, Candy Dreams™, or patented as IFG Twenty-Two, overlaps some with Candy Hearts™ but is a black grape with a prominent grape-juice flavor with pineapple and mango undertones. All three grapes were developed through International Fruit Genetics or IFG. When labeled as a part of the specialty line, the grape varieties are generally labeled as Gum Drops©. Outside of the Gum Drops© label, the grapes may also be found individually marketed under their trademarked candy names.
Gum Drops© grapes were developed in California through International Fruit Genetics or IFG. It took over twelve years of traditional and natural crossbreeding techniques to create the varieties offered in the Gum Drops© grape line, and the grapes are primarily grown in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Jack Pandol and Jim Beagle founded the Grapery in 1997 in Shafter, California, and in 2001, Pandol partnered with fruit geneticist Dr. David Cane to establish International Fruit Genetics in Bakersfield, California. Gum Drops© grapes were registered and patented in 2015, and in 2016, they were released to commercial markets in the United States. Today Gum Drops© grapes are sold through supermarkets, distributors, and partners of IFG and are being grown in the United States and globally, imported from Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.
Recipes that include Gum Drops® Grapes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Sugar & Soul||Apple Grape Salad|
|The View from Great Island||Kale and Fall Fruit Salad with Cider Poppy Seed Dressing|