The Bag Hack That Instantly De-Stems All Your Grapes At Once

There is a classic image from the art world in which royals or other people of importance are depicted as being fed grapes from the stem while being fanned and fawned upon, lounging in some Greek or Roman palace. This romantic notion may not be so realistic in the modern world but grapes on the stem still have a certain appeal, looking very pretty on a serving platter beside cheeses and charcuterie. That said, when snacktime rolls around, there's no denying that pulling each individual fruit from the stem can be cumbersome.

Fortunately, there's a hack that makes de-stemming an entire bunch of grapes possible in almost no time at all. The trick is super easy to pull off single-handedly, all you need is a zip-top-style plastic bag. Simply insert the bunch of grapes inside and get a good hold on the stem and the top of the bag at the same time. From there, shake vigorously until the grapes have all come loose from the stem and collected in the bottom of the bag. After that, all that's left is to pull the stem from the bag and you're ready to get snacking.

A selection of grape stem hacks

If this hack isn't your bag, there are some other techniques for destemming grapes. This includes one in which you take the bunch between your palms and rub it as if using a stick to start a fire. In this case, they should pop off easily but may get away from you, so it's best to place a bowl beneath your hands and practice this trick over a sink or colander.

Another involves laying a bunch of grapes on the bottom half of a folded towel on a countertop, then draping the other half over the top and gently rubbing with the fabric the bunch until the fruit comes loose. While you're less likely to have rogue grapes rolling away on you in this case — since they should be caught by the towel and are already on a surface — practitioners of this method admit you may still have to pull off a few of the grapes by hand.

The plastic bag trick appears to be the most likely to complete the job without requiring that you do any extra hand-picking. It also seems super useful for larger varieties, however, there's no evidence with any of these hacks to suggest they'd be effective for smaller varieties like champagne or concord grapes, where clusters are tighter and the fruit may not come loose as easily.

Washing your grapes

Regardless of your destemming method, it's always best to give grapes a good wash. They're among the group of fruits and veggies known as the "dirty dozen" thanks to the abundance of chemical treatments often used in the growing process. You can wash before or after destemming, but keep in mind that you only want to wash the grapes you're going to eat immediately. If you wash and then stash them in the fridge, the residual water will promote mold growth more quickly.

Should your fruit sport white spots, don't worry — there's nothing harmful about the stuff. In fact, one of the 12 common mistakes people make when buying grapes is to avoid the ones that boast this coating. It's a sign that your fruit is protecting and preserving its inner moisture. That said, you can remove it with a simple extra step — just as you would for your own skin, you can exfoliate your grapes with a dusting of baking soda and a light scrub.

No matter how you release your fruit, you can rest assured that they're good for your heart (and head) — not to mention delicious. Try a curried chicken salad where it's a bright and tart pop against the spice profile or even skewer them and dip them in salted caramel for a sweet treat. Whether or not you're actually royalty, fresh grapes always make for culinary works of art.