?? MUSCADINES ??
Muscadines are known as American wild grapes, a native species that grows only in the hot, humid southeastern United States. Unlike bunch grapes, muscadines are resistant to most fungal and bacterial infections due to the production of antioxidants by the plants.
Muscadines are cousins of bunch grapes- two chromosomes different! Muscadines grow and ripen in clusters of berries, not in a bunch. They can also send out air-roots from the vines to gather moisture from the surrounding atmosphere.
Many people think of our special grapes as being either black or bronze, muscadines or Scuppernongs respectively. Hundreds of cultivars have been registered and given names, and thousands more exist in the wild! Each seed can produce a different plant. So, named varieties are propogated by rooting wood-cuttings from the vine.
Scuppernong, a bronze muscadine and the most famous type of muscadine, was used to make Virginia Dare wine, the most popular wine in the United States prior to Prohibition! That's why so many people call the bronze muscadines, Scuppernongs.
Muscadines are grown in modern vineyards and harvested by machines, though some growers still harvest the old-fashioned way. Harvest season is August through September.
Muscadines have a fruity, delicate aroma and taste. The thick skins and numerous seeds can frustrate the modern grape eater who is spoiled by thin-skinned, seedless grapes! Muscadines are used for a variety of food products: wine, fresh fruit, jams, jellies, pies, and nutritional supplements.
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