Has anyone tried Thomcord grapes?
Our coop has them. From California.
They are a new seedless hybrid of Thompson and Concord grapes.
They look exactly like Concords. Smaller with that dark purple concord skin.
I"m wondering what they taste like. I know the concord-type skin should give them that taste.
But am wondering whether the meat is more of a Thompson type?
If they have good Concord taste, they would be fantastic for baking.
I bought some local Concord-type grapes here this fall. I think they were called Bluebells.
But they had seeds. So you had to skin each one, then heat the meat to soften the seeds, then run through a food mill to get rid of the seeds, then add the meat back to the skins.l
If these new grapes are good and you didn't have to go through the de-seeding process, it would be fantastic.
The ones in my store were in pre-weighed packages so it wasn't possible to just taste one.
(And the produce guys weren't around.)
I discovered these at my local Trader Joe's several weeks ago. I thought they were delicious! I've never had a Concord before that I recall, only Thompson. The texture was not as crisp, more jelly-like. There is still a small little seed, but I just swallowed them. I went back to buy some more but they were all gone :(
Our Wegmans had them last year, but I haven't seen them lately. I remember really liking them, but my memory isn't detailed enough to be sure how they'd do for baking.
I got a few pounds of these at my farmers market a few weeks back and they were very interesting. Everyone I served them to said the same thing. They have a very sweet, grape-juicy, wine-like taste to them.
Thanks everybody for your assessment.
I finally was able to try them. Our produce guy was able to give me a sample. And I agreed with his assessment. They tasted more Thompson-y than Concord-y. More mild and bland. At least the ones that we had. And what I really like is that Concord flavor for baking. So I think I will be going through the de-skinning and de-seeding for now.
It will be good to try some of these other varieties if/as they become available here.
My produce guy did say something interesting -- he says he eats the Concord seeds. Claims there is a health benefit to them. I don't think that would fly in baked things you're serving to a group, though.
Unless you have gastrointestinal issues like diverticulitis, it's perfectly fine to eat seeds of all kinds of grape.
I enjoyed the Thomcords for the few weeks that Trader Joe's stocked them. Before she moved away, a friend owned a home that had decades-old vines of Concord and Riesling grapes. I enjoyed both out of hand, but especially the Rieslings. They were green, but with the same structure as Concord - slipskin, hard to separate seeds from gel. I have never seen those in a produce section.
My Dad has a vine growing in the back yard (So. Cal) and they bore fruit for the first time this year. Nice eating grapes. I think they do taste more like Concords than Thompsons. I've always thought Thompsons were a bit bland.
I picked enough (about 15-20 lbs) to process jam and jelly but they are good eating too. I didn't leave many but next year the vine should do even better. We'll have plenty of jelly, plus fresh eating too.
I'd say you can use them for any recipe calling for Concords, only you don't have to go through all the trouble dealing with the seeds.
The Thomcord is not restricted so if you know someone with a vine that produces good grapes, you can propagate a cutting.
I've tried them twice now and am not impressed at all. After reading all the rave reviews, I thought maybe the first batch I got at Trader Joe's were just a fluke, so I tried them again this year and was disappointed again. They have the thicker skin and seeds of Concords, but without the flavor.