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Monday, November 10, 2014

Concord Dreams

I was recently in the US on a whirlwind visit to see my parents, and while I was there I reconnected with one of my favorite flavor memories from my youth; concord grapes.

Having grown up in upstate New York (yeah, yeah, I know New Paltz isn't technically 'upstate... get over yourself, Zahava!), and Connecticut, fall is always full of wonderful sensory memories for me: crisp air, beautiful foliage, apple picking, hay rides, pumpkin carving, leaf burning... and of course, eating lots and lots of concord grapes.

Concord grapes have a deep purple skin and a green interior, and are the perfect combination of sweet and tart. 

Basket-of-concord-grapes

There aren't many things I deeply miss (relax, I said 'things'!) from the states, but concord grapes almost certainly top the short list.

While I was shopping with my mom during this recent visit, I noticed a fruit stand selling concord grapes and bought a big bunch.  I was in heaven!  I went through them so fast we had to restock a few more times just to keep up with my noshing.

What I can't figure out is why these grapes aren't grown in Israel.  Is the soil here not suitable for this particular vine?  Hard to imagine, given the wide variety of wine and table grapes that are grown here.

Needless to say, if anyone knows where I can find concord grapes in Israel (or has any info as to whether they can be easily grown here), I will be eternally in your debt.

Posted by David Bogner on November 10, 2014 | Permalink

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Why not buy some seeds and grow your own?

Posted by: Dean | Nov 10, 2014 12:54:58 PM

You may want to contact my friend Dale, who lives in Elazar.

Posted by: Rahel | Nov 10, 2014 3:45:29 PM

I was an adult the first time I ate an actual concord grape, and I remember being absolutely stunned that the flavor of Kedem/Welch's grape juice actually existed in nature.

I suspect that there's relatively little market for commercial production of concord juice/wine in Israel, since Kedem can draw upon a much larger supply for import. Concord grapes don't make particularly well-regarded wines (the 10-year-olds at my grandfather's shteeble notwithstanding).

Posted by: efrex | Nov 10, 2014 3:54:20 PM

To me, their unique and immediately recognizable fragrance is heavenly.

Posted by: Eliezer Eisenberg | Nov 11, 2014 2:49:01 AM

your Kedem grape juice might just get easier to buy
http://www.vosizneias.com/183733/2014/11/10/washington-sen-schumer-pushing-israel-to-lower-tariff-on-grape-juice/

Posted by: Shmiel | Nov 11, 2014 3:18:04 AM

I haven't thought of Concord grapes in years! My grandmother used to get them all the time.

For the record, New Paltz is more upstate than Westchester County. If I had a nickel for every time someone said I lived upstate...

Posted by: Alissa | Nov 11, 2014 10:32:50 PM

My goodness! I haven't had Concord grapes since I was ... a lot younger. A neighbor of ours grew them. They grow well in San Diego, but are subject to mildew like crazy. Check with one of the table-grape growers. They might be able to help with either a local source, or importing them from New York. Agricultural imports can be daunting.

Posted by: Preston Wilson | Nov 27, 2014 12:39:39 PM

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