(taste test) Cotton Candy Grapes
Elizabeth Barbone

August 20, 2013

My friend Jess and I often say, “Dude. We're living in the future. The future, dude.” This is usually uttered when we use our iPhone look up a movie time or some other small thing that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

This phrase popped to mind when I heard Melissa Clark discussing new-to-market grapes that taste like cotton candy on a recent edition of the Splendid Table.

Grapes that taste like cotton candy? We're living in the future. And I don't know if I like it. I mean, really.  Do we need to entice folks to eat fruit by making it taste like cheap, state fair candy? Isn't fruit, you know, already nature's candy.

I must admit, however, the cotton candy-grape story intrigued me. So today when I noticed them at my local Fresh Market, I groaned...and put a bag in my cart. (And I resisted the urge to snag one from the bag while shopping, so that's a win.)

But when I got home, I quickly washed the bunch and popped one into my mouth.

My reaction: “Holy @$#&!” The grapes taste just like cotton candy! They were sweet and juicy and wonderful.  I ate a few more. After a handful of grapes, the cotton candy flavor sort of faded and the grapes just tasted pleasantly sweet. A few minutes after eating them, I noticed a sort of burnt sugar aftertaste in my mouth. I took about a twenty minute break from the grapes and then grabbed another handful. Sure enough, after the break, that first grape tasted like cotton candy. Amazing.

After eating the grapes, I wondered what exactly did I eat? I figured they were GMO grapes, meaning I would not buy them again. Happily, I was wrong! The grapes are a result of crossbreeding, not GMOs. (read more here.)

I'm still not sure if we need cotton candy-flavored grapes. But, I must admit, these grapes are tasty. The only thing that will prevent me from buying these fun grapes is the hefty price tag. They cost $8.99 per pound!  So these babies aren't cheap. According to the piece on the Splendid Table only 100 or so acres of these grapes are available this year, hence the sky-high price.

As I write this, I'm munching on the grapes, and, I have to say, they were worth every penny.

How about you? Would you give them a try? 

About the author:

Elizabeth Barbone is the owner and editor of and is the author of "Easy Gluten-Free Baking" and "How to Cook Gluten-Free".

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