Phew… after all that work on Dairy (milk and yogurt) and then salt, I’m glad to be moving on to a sweeter project…grapes! They are nature’s bite sized morsels and the passion of many an oenophile. You don’t see raspberries getting such attention.
Now one may ask oneself, “which came first, domesticated grapes, or the production of wine?” Archaeologists are fairly certain that wine making came first, as it was quite easy to go out into the woods, and pick grapes without planting and harvesting. That it took nearly 2000 years between the time wine production is first reputed to have taken place (6000BC) and the time that grape domestication took place (4000BC) strikes me as a bit unlikely. One of the several motivating factors in innovation is the desire for mankind to find a more efficient means of altering our state of sobriety. But this is only my take on it.
Regardless, we know that viticulture was taking place in the in the Tigris-Euphrates region around 4000BC. Grapes were also mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, recognized as one of the first recorded pieces of literature. It’s been around for a while.
The grape is the most widely planted fruit crop in the world. It is produced into dried fruits such as raisins, currants and sultanas, and beverages such as wine, brandy and good ol’ reliable grape juice. Every continent, save one, produce some variety of the fruit. Not many plants get that kind of exposure, including many of the grains that we take for granted.
So in the next few weeks, expect several posts and three, count ‘em, three recipes based off of grapes. I may include extra recipes for raisins and currants, but I haven’t decided fully as yet.
As always, comments, suggests and requests are welcome.