Don’t say “yuck” until you’ve tried one: Cotton candy-flavored grapes are officially a thing, and surprise-surprise, no genetic sleight of hand was involved.
The grapes, reported to taste like the popular carnival confectionary made from air and spun sugar, are surprisingly all-natural — the result of meticulous plant-breeding. While we haven’t tried the grapes ourselves, California-based NBC affiliate KGET sampled some — grown and harvested by local biz Grapery in Kern Country (just north of Los Angeles) — and reports “It’s true, they taste and even smell like cotton candy.”
“When you walk into this vineyard south of Bakersfield, you can smell a sweet aroma. There’s no county fair in sight, look around and all you’ll find are grapes, but they aren’t an ordinary variety,” writes KGET.
Okay, but do they really taste like cotton candy or is this one of those scenarios where you hear “cotton candy” and confirmation bias has its day? Jim Beagle, Grapery CEO, claims the grapes taste “exactly like cotton candy,” citing blind tastings where, when describing the flavor, “the first thing [people] say is cotton candy.”
Why cotton candy, of all the carnival flavors on tap? Why not funnel cake, corn dog or cronut? A happy fluke, since you get what you get when you play the breeding game. NPR reports the breeder — horticulturalist David Cain — went through roughly 100,000 test-tube plants before discovering a seedless, cotton candy-flavored one.
Expect to pay not a little for a pound: about $6, says NPR, though KGET notes you’ll pay $5 locally and up to $10 a pound in some places. The harvest yield was low this year, said Beagle, so while the grapes are available nationwide, they may be tricky to find. “A lot of customers [are] excited … to try the grapes for the first time,” he added. “The real test will come … once they try them and if they want to keep reordering them, but so far, it’s very promising.”
If Bertie Bott existed, he’d doubtless approve.
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