What are muscadine grapes? Well, they are hearty fruits with thick skins that are native to Southeastern America. Unlike traditional grapes like concords, muscadines don’t grow in big bunches. Instead, muscadine clusters might have three grapes that mature and get harvested individually.
So, what are muscadine grapes like in the wild, then? Well, they grow to around a hundred feet and have shallow roots and heavy vines. They grow well in well-drained, sandy soil and their plants thrive best in humid and warm climates since they need a lot of sunlight. The leaves look glossy and round, and the vines could get some serious damage if the temperature ever drops below zero. Also, most efforts in transplanting them over to various other climates have proven to be highly unsuccessful.
Sometimes, muscadines are called southern fox or scuppernong grapes, but those are actually different names for certain muscadine varieties. Nowadays, there are more than 300 muscadine varieties of cultivation in dark purple, black, yellow and bronze with sugar contents that range from 15 to 25 percent.
The majority of muscadine vines in today’s day and age tend to be diocious. This means that their flowers could be female or male. For optimum results, both genders need to planted near each other to help with pollination. Several self-fertile kinds also exist that can produce flowers that have both genders present in them. However, to get the optimum results in production, they need to be interspersed along with more female vines.
Muscadine grapes can be eaten fresh or in various products, like in a wide array of wines. During the process of making wine, sugar can get added to several varieties in order to produce musky and sweet dessert drinks. Bronze scuppernongs can also be put to use to produce a red and dry table wine. One thing that makes muscadine wines better, however, would be their higher levels of antioxidants.
So, what are muscadine grapes good for otherwise? Well, they can be added to products like juices, jellies, jams, syrups and dessert toppings. Several companies are even expanding some product lines to provide powders and dietary supplements with muscadine grapes in them. Although the fruit itself is regional, today’s market for it has greatly expanded, thanks to the World Wide Web.