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Scuppernongs


chefette
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At the grocery store this weekend I happened across Scuppernongs in the fruit section. They are a bit smaller than a golf ball, come in a plastic carton, come in a dark purple or sort of yellow green. They have sort of a thick tart skin, smell sort of musky, have seeds like grapes. They taste sort of like Concord Grapes to me.

Is anyone familiar with these? Are they just giant Concord Grapes, or something completely different?

Has anyone used these for anything? What? I like the fruit, but the skin seems undesirable and the seeds are sort of a pain.

Edited by chefette (log)
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I seem to recall a scuppernong wine, but I can't tell you much about it, other than that I believe it generally sells well on skid row. I assume these are grapes or maybe they just looked enough like grapes to give someone the idea of making wine out of the juice. I hope their highest calling is not as wine.

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It looks as though they are sort of defiant as fruits go. I thought the Scuppernong Pie sounded intriguing: Mash out the juice, use it to cook the hulls, fill the pie shell with the tenderized hulls. Maybe I'll try making a tart or two to see how it works out....

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Scuppernongs (muscadines) are pretty much an acquired taste. People down here usually love em or hate em, but they are really fun to grow. Huge, fast growing vines and really big, healthy looking fruit. There is alot of wine made from them in the south, some of it o.k., some of it awful. I like the dry ones pretty much and the fortified ones aren't even fit to start lawnmowers with (imo) but a lot of people prefer them that way.

The fruit has a very strong aftertaste (musky) that many people don't like (but once again, I do).

I distilled some of the dry white wine a few years back (notice to revenooers.... I don't do it any more and had a license when I did). The eau de vis/grappa/moonshine from this dry wine was stunning. All of the bouquet and none of the disagreeable aftertaste. Might have to do that again soon, come to think of it.

Many people make pies and fruit tarts and jelly from the juice, but using the whole fruit can be problematic, because the skin is pretty thick and makes for difficult baking (picture popping grapes in the oven).

There are several wineries in LA and MS that sell commercial wine of varying quality. The link below will guide you to some of the best (once again imo).

http://www.felicianacellars.com/wine.htm

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Scuppernongs and muscadines are both "native" grapes, and more like Concords than the other sorts of grapes you find in the grocery store, but otherwise not too similar.

They are, in my experience, very much a southern thing, as they presumably don't grow too far north.

I eat them out of hand, and they are worth the trouble. There is a trick to it, though...

Eat only grapes that you know to be ripe. The less ripe ones will continue to ripen in the container, so just wait until tomorrow (or the next day) for them to be ready. The ones that are ready will be softer than the others, such that the skin is just a bit loose. The ones that are greenish (usually called Scuppernongs, but this varies) will have acquired a bronze, often speckled tone. The purple ones undergo a similar change, but it's harder to see against the background color.

1.Bite into one just enough to detach the skin and peel about half to one third of the skin off. Scrape the sweet pulp off the interior of the skin with your teeth and discard the skin itself. Under no circumstances should you skip this part, as it's the best part of the grape, the most flavorful and juiciest. It's not like this part of a Concord, which I find intensely grape-flavored but not juicy.

2. Bite into the grape's interior until you encounter the seeds. Don't crush them, as they're bitter, but if you've picked a ripe grape they will shell out very very easily. Discard seeds and eat the grape interior.

3. Repeat the scraping of the remainder of the skin, everting it to do so.

When you're done you'll have a pile of grape skins and seeds. When very ripe the skins become less bitter and thinner, and you can eat them if you'd like, though I usually don't.

My grandmother used to make juice out of them, but she grew her own, and the ones in the supermarket are way too expensive. You can find all sorts of preserves and so forth made out of them if you're in an area that grows them. I've not had scuppernong pie, but it sounds disgusting.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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The scuppernong pie does sound pretty awful, but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I thought they might end up sort of like candied kumquats although I cannot think of having a pie of kumquats either. It seems as though the skins might actually stain your teeth, your hands, and aything else that they happened to touch.

I did think that they were really tasty though. Of course if I found a great way to use them I would probably never ever see them in the store again.

I was thinking that maybe you could use them sort of like you might use litchees, but it seems that with the exception of the amazing Litchee Panna Cotta with basil infused grappa that there are not alot of great ways to use litchee out there either.

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Hmm, they might just work like litchees (or lychees or whatever). You could peel them without using your teeth and shell out the seeds, and you'd be all set to go. You could somehow use the flesh that comes off with the skins in a recipe, or you could just sit down and eat it yourself.

They're so good alone though that I don't see much point in making something else out of them unless you have a lot of them. Which you will if happen to live in this part of the world (Atlanta for me) and decide to grow them on your trellis. Great deck cover, just like Mayhaw Man says.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I grew up eating scuppernongs and have very fond memories of the sweet flavor. We never ate the peels or the seeds. The ripe ones were slightly soft and very luscious. My aunt had a grape arbor beside her house near the bay in Northwest Florida. I do not remember any one ever cooking with them, just making wine. A jelly would be wonderful.

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  • 1 year later...

Woohoo! Muscadines/scuppernongs are back in season. Those of you who've seen them but not yet tried them should do so (I give directions up thread). Tant pis for anybody who doesn't have ready access.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I brought home a bag of these from a local Vietnamese supermarket to my mom in NY a year ago and I created a veritable muscadine monster. Every week she would ask me to send more up to NY with my brother and was so disappointed when the season ended. Now it's towards the end of the summer and she's started asking about them again like clockwork.

And it's not just my mom, my brother and his gf are addicts too as well as my co-worker. I can understand why they're so addictive, they have an almost concentrated grape flavor, but they're really sweet at the same time, somewhat like a cross between a grape ring pop and grape juice.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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i love scuppernongs and muscadines. (which Therese knows ;) )

i saw the first batch of the season this weekend of scuppernongs and picked them up. Ate a few on Saturday, but by today they should be really yummy.

I love them, but they make my lips itchy. i don't care tho.

Edited by tryska (log)
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  • 2 years later...

Scuppernong and Muscadine grape preserves! A bucket o’ Scuppernongs along with two pints of Muscadines for purple. Easy on the sugar, a few ground cloves and some cinnamon. Plunge in boiling water to slip off the skins, innards through a sieve to remove the seeds, skins chopped and everything back in the pot to simmer.

gallery_19995_4798_872897.jpg

I love this stuff. My whole apartment was filled with that wonderful musky perfume while the preserves were cooking. Excellent on a biscuit with a slice of bacon.

(The two jars on the right with the pretty purple-brown color are the grape preserves… the guy on the left is a fig/raspberry/zinfandel jam that rocks pretty hard too.)

gallery_19995_4798_998567.jpg

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I have a grape vine in my backyard, but I only seem to get enough grapes to make a few glasses of a wonderful pink grape juice. Most of it goes to the birds and squirrels. I guess I should get more proactive, it would make a beautiful pink grape jelly.

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That's why I chopped the skins into the preserves. (A) pretty purple color from the muscadines and (B) love the flavor!! I think that's where all the musky loveliness resides.

I eat them whole...skin, seeds & all.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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