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Nagano grapes are large in size and are oval to oblong in shape, growing in densely packed clusters on stout vines. The firm, thin skin is glossy and dark purple to almost black. It is also covered with a cloudy white bloom, or film, and is rather difficult to peel due to its thin skin. The flesh is translucent, seedless, and gelatinous, and is firmly attached to the skin. Nagano grapes are crisp with a grapey and very sweet flavor with slightly astringent skin.
Nagano grapes are available late summer through fall.
Nagano grapes, botanically classified as Vitis vinifera, are a cross between kyoho, the Japanese hybrid and rosario bianco, the European varietal. They are a relatively new variety that was created in 2004 and was named after the Nagano prefecture in Japan. Nagano grapes are known for their sweet, grapey flavors and large size. They are predominately used as table grapes and are also made into wine in regions of Japan.
Nagano grapes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, thiamine, dietary fiber, and resveratrol, an important phytonutrient in maintaining heart health.
Nagano grapes are best suited for raw consumption and can be consumed with the skin on. They may be treated similarly to concord or kyoho, making excellent juice, preserves, and sweet wine. They can also be used to flavor and garnish cocktails. Nagano grapes are served as a dessert or as an accompaniment to cakes, pies, and tarts. They are a soft grape that is prone to damage and must be handled with care as their high sugar content also makes them susceptible to fermentation. Nagano grapes pair well with nuts such as almond, pistachio, and peanut, lemon, strawberry, raspberry, mint, yogurt, and crème fraiche. They will keep up to a week when stored in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for extended use.
The arid soil of the Chikuma River bank in Nagano, Japan is suitable for growing extremely large Nagano grapes. The Nagano prefecture is Japan's number one growing region of this relatively new variety of seedless grape, and because Nagano grapes are so new, farmers are not permitted to grow them outside of that region. The major production occurs in Suzaka-shi, Kamitakai-gun Obuse-machi, and Takayama-mura. Nagano grapes are also made into wine in this region as the landscape is suitable for vineyards.
Nagano grapes were created at the Nagano Fruit Tree Experiment Station in 2004 in Japan. Today they are only grown in the Nagano prefecture and are sold as high-end fruits. Nagano grapes can be found at specialty markets and on online retailers in Japan.
Recipes that include Nagano Grapes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|One Sweet Mess||Ricotta Pound Cake with Grapes|
|I Camp In My Kitchen||Grape Mocktail|