We normally expect our grapes to be grape-flavored, but we might need to start watching out for grapes that taste like candy corn or strawberries in a few years. Some new varieties of flavored grapes might be coming to the shelves soon thanks to a group of plant breeders in California who recently decided that "grape" was a good flavor for soda and bubble gum, but a boring flavor for actual grapes, so they crossbred some Frankengrapes that apparently taste exactly like pink cotton candy.
The producers say the new grape is entirely natural, despite tasting like one of the least natural of candies. According to The Daily Mail, California's The Grapery achieved their candy-flavored grapes by using hand-pollination to naturally cross two species of grapes, a thick-skinned Concord-like grape with the normal green seedless we see in grocery stores. The resulting grape variety looks exactly like a standard green seedless grape, but once in the mouth it tastes just like cotton candy, according to Culver City chef Spencer Gray.
"When it pops in your mouth, the first impression is a rush of cotton candy flavor," he said, describing them as extremely sweet with hints of vanilla. "It's like there's nothing to stop the sweetness. It just lingers on your tongue."
Horticulturist David Cain originally set out with the goal of making a grape that would retain its flavor longer on grocery store shelves.
"A lot of fruit becomes tasteless by the time somebody buys it," he said. "We want to change that."
The candy-tasting grapes have about 12 percent more sugar than regular grapes, but still less than raisins. They sell for $6 per pound and are expected to be in grocery stores across the U.S. this week, and The Grapery has no intention of stopping with grapes that taste like cotton candy.
"When you go to the supermarket, there's like 15 kinds of apples — Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, Braeburn. The list goes on," Cain said. "We want to give consumers the same array of flavors for grapes."
Grapery CEO Jim Beagle even said they are currently testing some grapes that taste like grape soda, as well as gummy bears, Skittles, and mango.