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All about “Grapes”

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The grape is a fruit bursting with flavor. It is a great ally of cardiovascular health. It is also a source of several vitamins and minerals essential for the proper functioning of the body. The term “grape” appeared in the French language in 1200 in the first form of “resin”. It derives from the popular Latin racimus, which means “bunch of berries”.

Characteristics of the grape:

  • Source of fiber;
  • Rich in vitamin B group;
  • Source of manganese;
  • Rich in antioxidants;
  • Reduces the risk of developing cancers.

Grape, what is it?

Grape identity card

  • Type: Fruit;
  • Family: Vitaceae;
  • Origin: Central Asia;
  • Season: July to October;
  • Color: Green or black;
  • Flavor: Sweet.

Characteristics of the grape

The grape is the fruit of the vine. It grows in a cluster of several grains that are small in size and can vary in color from green to black. A bunch can weigh between 150 and 500g.

Word from the nutritionist

The grape is a sweet fruit, it should be consumed in moderation. One serving corresponds to approximately 100g of grapes.

Nutritional values

Nutrients                                                             Quantities                                                            
Protein 0.6 g
Lipids 0.1 g
Carbohydrates 16.1 g
Water 79.3 g
Fibers 1.4 g
Vitamin C 4 mg
Vitamin B1 0.04 mg
Vitamin B2 0.02 mg
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg
Iron 0.3 mg
Potassium 250 mg

9 benefits of grapes: why eat them?

  1. Several studies carried out in humans have shown a positive effect of the consumption of red grape juice on the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Among the effects observed are the improvement of endothelial function (elasticity or the ability of the walls of blood vessels to expand and contract) and the increase in the antioxidant capacity of the blood. In various studies, the consumption of grape juice also led to a decrease in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and the formation of blood clots, two factors that can help improve cardiovascular health. Consuming red grape juice may also lower bad cholesterol and increase “good” (HDL). Finally,
  2. Several studies in animals have shown a beneficial effect of consuming grape juice on memory and motor skills, which suggests improved cognitive functions.
  3. Grapes contain many flavonoids, such as quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, catechins, epicatechins, proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins. These phenolic compounds are powerful antioxidants which make it possible to neutralize free radicals in the body and thus prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and various chronic diseases. Certain flavonoids in grape juice may inhibit the activity of an enzyme necessary for the survival of cancer cells. In addition, in vitro research has shown that several flavonoids in grapes work synergistically against cancer cells.
  4. Grape juice is a great source of manganese for women, but a good source for men. Raisins are a source of manganese. Manganese acts as a cofactor of several enzymes that facilitate a dozen different metabolic processes. It also participates in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals.
  5. Fresh grapes are a source of vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. Like vitamin B1, it plays a role in the energy metabolism of all cells. In addition, it helps in the growth and repair of tissues, the production of hormones and the formation of red blood cells.
  6. Fresh and dried grapes as well as grape juice are sources of vitamin B6. Also called pyridoxine, this vitamin is part of coenzymes which participate in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids as well as in the manufacture of neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It also helps make red blood cells and allows them to carry more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also necessary for the transformation of glycogen into glucose and it contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. Finally, this vitamin plays a role in the formation of certain components of nerve cells.
  7. Fresh grapes are a source of vitamin C. The role that vitamin C plays in the body goes beyond its antioxidant properties; it also contributes to the health of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. In addition, it protects against infections, promotes the absorption of iron contained in plants and accelerates healing.
  8. Raisins are a source of iron. Each body cell contains iron. This mineral is essential for the transport of oxygen and the formation of red blood cells in the blood. It also plays a role in the manufacture of new cells, hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It should be noted that the iron contained in foods of plant origin, such as Chinese cabbage, is less well absorbed by the body than the iron contained in foods of animal origin. The absorption of iron from plants is however favored when it is consumed with certain nutrients, such as vitamin C.
  9. Raisins are a source of potassium. In the body, potassium is used to balance the pH of the blood and to stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thereby aiding digestion. In addition, it facilitates the contraction of muscles, including the heart, and participates in the transmission of nerve impulses.

Choosing the right grape

To choose the right grape, the berries must be firm, without spots or bruises.

The different varieties

Of the 50 or 60 species of vines listed in the world, it is essentially the Vitis vinifera species that is cultivated commercially. Introduced to America by the Spaniards during the conquest, it will be cultivated in all the missions, wine being essential for the celebration of Mass. Two species were the subject of selection work. V. labrusca produces, among other things, the famous Concord grapes intended for fresh consumption and for making juice. V. rotundifolia produces the muscadine vine mainly cultivated in the southern United States for the production of wine and fortified wine such as Port. The other native species have not been modified. Their fruits have remained unchanged since the appearance of the genus Vitis on the planet about 70 million years ago, and no

Keep well

It should preferably be consumed on the day of purchase, but you can also keep it for up to 5 days in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

Preparation of the grape

How to cook it? How to match it?

Fresh grapes

  • Eat them fresh, without any other attribute, when entering or leaving a meal, or at breaks throughout the day.
  • They accompany cheeses, endives, nuts, raw ham, fish, roast poultry and white meat.
  • In pancakes, waffles, cakes, pies, jams and jellies.
  • In fruit salads. Or in a chicken salad, with nuts, celery, green onions and basil. Serve with mayonnaise.
  • Sauté them quickly with garlic and serve as a starter or as an accompaniment to a meat dish.
  • It can be made into a cold soup by pairing it with mashed peaches, pineapples and figs and, if desired, a few plums preserved in alcohol.
  • In the salsa, with green onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Add tomatillos if desired. Coarsely grind in a blender. Let stand 1 hour before serving.
  • In a poultry stuffing with cooked wild rice, apples, green onion and sage.
  • The quail with grapes is an essential classic. Cut the fruit in half and add them to the poultry after browning the latter in butter or oil. We can, if desired, flambé with cognac.
  • They can be cooked on skewers on or under the grill after having coated them with olive oil in which we have marinated rosemary. It is served with grilled meat or vegetables.
  • Grapes and vegetables. Sauté onion, garlic, green, red and yellow peppers, Chinese cabbage (or, if not regular cabbage), shiitakes, ginger and curry powder. Add chicken broth or water, as well as green grapes. Reheat and serve with a bowl of brown rice.

Raisins

  • You can soak them for half an hour in water or the juice of your choice and incorporate them into:
    – condiments, chutneys, breads and pastries;
    – salads (with grated carrots, in particular);
    – applesauce or other fruit;
    – couscous or bulgur-based dishes;
    – poultry stuffing;
    – rice pudding.
  • They can also be cooked with the rabbit to replace the prunes or to complete them.
  • Fairtes melt spinach in butter or oil with raisins, garlic and pine nuts previously dry roasted in a pan. Serve with meat, fish or poultry.

The grape

Until the end of the war, this jam (without added sugar) was common in the French countryside. It was prepared by simmering various seasonal fruits and vegetables – popped melons, pumpkin, green tomatoes, carrots, apples, pears, plums – in grape juice for several hours. When the preparation had reduced by three-quarters, it was enough to bottle hot and store in a cool place.

Vine leaves

An important ingredient in Greek and Turkish cuisine, it is used to wrap various foods, to which it gives, during cooking, a pleasant tangy flavor.

Wine vinegar

It is used in vinaigrettes, to marinate meats or deglaze pans. White wine, red wine, champagne, sherry, etc. are used in the manufacture of fine vinegars, often flavored with fruits or fine herbs. They allow you to infinitely vary the dishes to which you add them.

Grape seed oil

Low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, grape seed oil can be used for cooking, macerating meats or being used in salads. Its high melting point makes it widely used for grilling and fondue.

History of the grape

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors happily ate small wild grapes (Vitis vinifera var. Sylvestris). From its center of origin in Central Asia or Asia Minor, this species had dispersed westwards millions of years before the appearance on earth of Homo sapiens. They took advantage of it by harvesting large quantities. What was not consumed immediately was pressed and the juice obtained was kept in earthen jars.

However, experts believe that the impetus to domesticate the wild grape (around 6,000 years ago) and to select varieties with larger, sweeter fruits came from the discovery of the fermentation process leading to the transformation of the grape. juice into wine. This discovery would be attributable to chance and to the fact that the grape contains natural yeasts which promote its fermentation. One fine morning, somewhere between the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf, someone found a forgotten jar in the corner of a cave and tasted the fermented juice it contained. A juice that kept well, tasted great and had special effects … The good news spread quickly and it didn’t take long before we mastered both the wine-making process and the wine-making process. viticulture.

The cultivation of the vine was already established in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates 4000 years before our era. A thousand years later, it had reached a high degree of sophistication in Mesopotamia, Syria, Phenicia and the Egyptian delta. Many varieties already existed at the time, which testifies to a long period of development. Among the Greeks in Homer’s time, wine was the everyday drink; men, women and children drank it. The Romans, great wine lovers too, and also excellent farmers, spread the culture of the vine throughout the Empire.

Table grapes

The Egyptians and Romans consumed fresh and dried table grapes. Since the Renaissance, we have been interested in the improvement and selection of varieties of vines for its production. Despite everything, this fruit will remain relatively rare in the human diet until the turn of the 20th century. It is the need to find new markets for viticultural products that will lead to their promotion to the general public. As for raisins, of which California is the world’s largest producer, they are now used in many food preparations, whether in bakery and pastry, or in muesli or granola-type mixtures.

For further

Organic gardening

The culture of the vine whose fruit is intended to be eaten fresh is not the same as that of the wine vine. In the latter case, we fertilize less and we do not irrigate.

pH: 5.0 to 6.0. The vine is indifferent to the nature of the soil. However, the latter must drip well in order to avoid root rot and various other diseases caused by fungi. Ideally, it will be planted on sloping ground.

In winter, unless you are prepared to protect the plants against frost by raising them up in the fall, it is preferable to plant varieties of the species V. labrusca, more resistant to cold than European grapevine and muscadine. .

Prepare the soil by adding good rotted manure or compost. In subsequent years, we will be satisfied with foliar fertilizer and a few shovelfuls of compost at the base of each plant in the spring.

When planting, prune the roots and cut back the stem, keeping only two buds. The maintenance size varies between varieties and growers. Ask the nurseryman for more information. You will also need to stake the plants in a way that will vary depending on the type of pruning you practice.

We can prevent and treat most vine diseases by applying sulfur or copper sulfate, two products accepted in organic farming. Ensure good air circulation by removing weeds and pruning so that the sun can penetrate the heart of the plants.

If the vine is cultivated for the production of raisins, it is harvested as late as possible, when the fruit is fully ripe. Its water content will then be lower and it will be sweeter.

Ecology and environment

Two major ecological events marked the history of European vines towards the end of the 19th century. Until then relatively sheltered from insects and diseases, it was attacked by an insect imported from America, the vine phylloxera. It caused considerable damage, so much so that the wine industry bordered on disaster and risked ruin. The Europeans then went in search of varieties resistant to the insect. They found them in the vine’s original habitat, which is the eastern United States. Various species of wild grape have coexisted with the insect for thousands of years. Since then, the majority of European vines have been grafted onto plants belonging to the American species V. riparia, V. rupestris, and V. berlandieri or to hybrids of these species.

While the winegrowers were barely recovering from the first crisis, the vines were again affected around 1878. This time, by downy mildew, a disease caused by fungi, and also imported from North America. Once again, the whole wine industry is threatened, and even more imminently, because we do not have varieties resistant to the disease.

The solution to the problem will be discovered by chance. Examining vines in the Médoc region, a professor named Alexis Millardet discovers that some of them are not affected by the disease. He also observes that, on these plants, the grapes are covered with a greenish greyish substance, copper sulphate, a product having a strong purgative action. He learns that the owners of the vineyard apply it to the plants along the roads to deter potential grape thieves. From this, in 1885, Millardet created Bordeaux mixture which also contains slaked lime which reduces the aggressiveness of copper sulphate.

This mixture has fungicidal properties which will be widely used later. Thanks to it, Europe’s vineyards escaped bankruptcy and, for almost a century, it would be the only treatment used to prevent disease.

Unlike the new fungicides developed in recent decades, Bordeaux mixture is accepted in organic farming. However, its use is controversial within certification bodies. The French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) has published the results of studies showing that the copper contained in this mixture accumulated in the soil. In high doses, although relatively harmless to animals and humans, it can be toxic to plants and soil microflora.

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