For my entire life, I've been eating these southern grapes, as non-Southern people call them. Both of my grandmother's and my great-grandmother have a vine in their yard and I've spent many hours standing underneath them eating the grapes until my tummy hurt. A regular September activity growing up was helping my grandmas make jelly out of them. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I found out that these little gems are actually extremely good for you!
Today's What to Eat Wednesday food is Scuppernongs!
First, if you're not Southern, you may have never heard of them. These are a Southern staple. If you call yourself Southern and have never eaten one, I would question whether or not you are actually in fact Southern. Many Southerners have memories of standing around a vine in the late afternoon, eating scuppernongs, and spending time with family and friends. This fruit is much like a grape, but the skin is tough and you usually don't eat it (some people do though).
Second, everyone in the South pronounces the name differently or calls them something different all together. I call the brown grapes "Scupanines" and the purple ones "Bullises". The correct term for them is Muscadine.
Like I mentioned, I've grown up eating these and recently stood around a vine with my grandmother eating them and enjoying each others' company. Never did I know that they were actually good for me! Recently, I saw a news story on Fox Charlotte (written by a friend of mine from elementary school, I might add) that scientists are here studying the fruit and believe that it may hold the cure to cancer.
Muscadines are North Carolina's State Fruit and there are farms all over the place around Charlotte. Now, the research is just beginning to find the cure for cancer in the fruit, but the reason that it is the featured food for this week is that it has already proven to be a super fruit in preventing cancer. They have ellagic acid in them, which other grapes do not have, that has proven to help prevent cancer and stop cancer from growing. They also have a ton of reservatrol which has proven to help prevent aging and help sustain mental clarity.
In the Charlotte area, you should be able to find these in the grocery stores over the next few weeks. They are in season from now until mid-October. If you can't enjoy them fresh, you can always find scuppernong or muscadine wine! It's amazing all the benefits found in this little fruit!