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The Madera Tribune

Get fresh with grapes

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webmaster | 08/21/13

The day before writing this, I came back from the store with many kinds of fresh fruit, but mostly grapes. I even bought some of the new Cotton Candy grapes.

I was a bit skeptical about whether or not they tasted like cotton candy (which I love even though it isn’t good for me), but lo and behold, that first grape actually did taste like the candy it’s named after. After that, however, my taste buds couldn’t be fooled. They still tasted good, but not in the same way as that first bite.

My dad and grandparents used to have a couple of old-fashioned Concord grape vines on the ranch when I was growing up, and despite the seeds, they were the most flavorful grapes I have ever tasted. My dad was always happy when my mom made him a pie from those grapes. I know it sounds awful, but he called it slip-gut pie. That was because you squeezed each grape so the insides popped out of the skins.

Back in 1980, when I learned of his sudden death, I arrived to discover my mom had an unfinished Concord grape pie in the refrigerator. She wasn’t home at the time, so despite all the grief, it was somehow comforting to finish making that pie. I wonder if he was watching! ...


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