When I started this blog post the plan was to give a very brief history of muscadine grapes, their health benefits, and their history. One wiki search later and I quickly realized, “oh man, there is a lot to learn, and love, about these medium-sized, funny textured grapes!” So, where to start?
“Of the bounteous store of natural gifts… upon the soil of North Carolina few have been more celebrated than the muscadine grape…” Discovered (not really as it was already growing in nature) in 1755, the muscadine grape (commonly referred to as a scuppernong) was first cultivated in North Carolina. Much less common than your typical market grapes, muscadine grapes offer a wealth of nutrition from bowel regulating (think fiber), to weight management (think fiber again), and rich in antioxidants. “One study… found that muscadines are a particularly good source of ellagic acid…. appears to inhibit cancer cell reproduction… Muscadine grapes also contain twice as much vitamin C as seedless grapes.”
The Saturday before last, preparing for music in the park I grabbed a quart of these grapes from the local food coop. I wasn’t exactly thrilled by their tart taste or gooey consistency, but rather than tossing them I figured it better to do some research on how to preserve them. Like most people, I had only heard of the notoriously sweet muscadine wine and of course, jelly/jam. My chef friend Jonathan recommended I pair these grapes with the French Haute cuisine herb combo. of parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil, otherwise know as Fines Herbes. I couldn’t find any chervil in my local grocer so I substituted fresh basil from my garden. Viola a low sugar, sweet and herb’y muscadine jam. Enjoy this jam with cheese and crackers or reduced down to a glaze for any desired meat dish.
Ingredients Instructions Notes Recipe adapted from Lil' Suburban Homestead.
Recipe adapted from Lil' Suburban Homestead.