I know Thanksgiving Day will soon be here. It is my absolutely my favorite holiday and I am looking forward to it. I think this year my meal will be very traditional with candied yams, cornbread dressing and cranberry relish. I will talk more about that later.
Today, I want to share with you two carolina classic grapes, muscadine and scuppenong. Growing up in North Carolina, I only remember picking these grapes in fields near a friend’s house or at a distant relative’s farm. I don’t remember any one doing very much with them. As children we would pick them and learned not to eat the hull but only the inside of the grape. If I remember correctly, the ripe ones were very soft on the outside and juicy and sweet. I also remember the horrible bitter taste of one of the grapes when it was not completely ripe. Yuck!!! That was a horrible taste.
The scuppenong grape was named for a river here in North Carolina and makes good wine. According to a this quote in the October 2014 issue of Our State magazine, ” Muscadine grapes range in color from black to bronze. Scuppernongs are a bronze variety of muscadine. So although scuppernong has become a catchall term for the bronze grapes, not all muscadines are scuppernongs.” I never really saw a difference in them either and the main thing I do remember is how much I enjoyed eating them.
I wanted to share a recipe using one or both of these varieties of grapes and thought it would be a snap to go to my collection of local cookbooks and whip out a couple of recipes to share. It wasn’t that easy. In fact, I did not see any recipes for the use of the grapes. I was actually surprised at that but I do believe the grapes are more prevalent in the piedmont area of the state.
I was reading the October issue of The Local Palate magazine that is based out of Charleston SC and they also featured the muscadine grape. There are dozens of wineries in the Piedmont area of North Carolina that make muscadine wine. The Yadkin Valley Wine Festival is held annually in Elkin NC. Christian Froelich, a native North Carolinian, is the executive chef at Sanders Ridge Winery and Restaurant in Boonville, NC and a connoisseur of local Piedmont muscadines. Here are his recipes for muscadine glazed chicken and white muscadine wine beurre blanc that he prefers over seared scallops. This is a link to The Local Palate website and I really love the site and the magazine: http://www.localpalatemag.com/
Here is a link to the Sanders Ridge Winery and Restaurant website: http://www.sandersridge.com/ I know this will be a road trip for Mr. D and I sometime in the future.
I could not complete a post about these luscious grapes without including Duplin Winery that is located on the coast of North Carolina. They have been making muscadine and scuppernong wine for many years and I do enjoy the fruity taste of the wines, especially in the warmer months of the year. Here is a link to their website: https://www.duplinwinery.com/visit-duplin-winery/tours-tastings/
Muscadines and Scuppernong are so tasty and a huge North Carolina fall tradition. When I see them, I know that winter is approaching. Thanks for stopping by.