The fruits of a long hot summer are coming to the markets now. I bought some green grapes today and they were like nectar .... sweet as honey and with a nice crisp snap. I was attracted by the gold/yellow color that they get this time of year. In my youth I remember hitchhiking to Sequoia National Park and getting dropped off somewhere outside of Fresno...spent several hours waiting for a ride but we were near some grape vines that had incredibly sweet fruit. Was almost disappointed when we got a ride.
Those of us who are lucky enough to live in the Bay Area can buy the REAL Thompson seedless - thin skinned, green gold, little perlettes bursting with juice - and not those big football things.
Last year I preserved some grapes in the Provencal style to save for Christmas time. The muscats were the best, tasted like honey in December. Actually they were delicious beyond description and I had to hide them from my guests.
I've also saved the essence of grapes by making ver jus, then reducing it to syrup to serve with foie gras. Or you can save grapes for several months by marinating them in spiced wine for a special treat.
there is something wonderful and so almost unexpected about finding the perfect grape. the bite of the skin and the juice of the flesh against the wood of the seeds.
when i lived in yountville years ago i had a chardonay vine in my tiny back yard and on warm summer sunday nights i used to lay on the floor in the living room with my german shepard, buddy. we'd watch tv and eat grapes, one for him, one for me. one for him, one for me.
it always amused me.