After the summer the grape arrives at the market . Thus says a popular saying, since between October and November is when the harvest is made in Europe where countries such as France, Italy, Greece and Spain hire whole families to collect this precious fruit that is venerated especially at Christmas, and especially the end of the year night.
Grapes on New Year’s Eve
It was precisely in Spain that a Madrid tradition spread that consisted of eating twelve grapes coinciding with the twelve chimes of the Puerta de Sol clock , at 12 o’clock on the last day of the year.
It was a popular reaction that arose from the bourgeois attitude of drinking grapes and champagne in their luxurious old-night dinners. Soon it spread throughout the country and later to Latin American countries.
The cultivation of the vine
The cultivation of the vine is one of the oldest known, as some seeds appeared in Neolithic sites in Switzerland and Italy, and also in pharaonic tombs of ancient Egypt . If it was already cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East, there are references that in Classical Greece the fruit was worked to produce wine.
But it was the Romans who spread this valuable crop throughout its empire from its origin on the banks of the Caspian Sea. After its decline this practice was lost except in the monasteries that kept it up to the present.
There are many varieties of grapes, but we could highlight two large families, the white grape and the red grape , giving rise to these two popular forms of wine . In particular, the red grape has been studied because its seeds and skin have great antioxidant properties and other components very beneficial for health.
Varieties of the Grape
There are more than 5000 grape varieties , although only about 40 have some recognition when it comes to making wine, and less than 20 types are those that come to the table as a dessert. Among the most popular types of white grapes used in Spain we can highlight the following:
.- Moscatel Málaga. It is a sweet grape that occurs in large clusters and yellow.
.- Ohanes. It is a medium grape with crunchy pulp. Its resistance allows its trade until April or May.
.- Napoleon . French grape with quite thick grains in season, only September and October.
.- Aledo. It is thick and yellowish grains. It is collected in October.
.- Dominga . It is also collected in October, and is thick and white and reddish brown.
.- Italy. Italian grape of coarse grains and yellow color, is collected in summer.
In red or black grapes we could highlight:
.- Alicante. It has violet and elongated grains.
.- Hamburg . They are tender and very sweet fruits.
.- Black Napoleon . There is also the ink version of this famous grape.
.- Muscadine. It is a grape very researched for its high levels of antioxidants that deserves to extend its properties.
The Smart Grape
The Muscadine grape is a variety that, unlike others, develops in a hot and humid climate of the southeastern United States. This forces it to face fungi and other environmental aggressions that other grapes in colder or temperate climates do not require.
This stress leads her to produce a greater number of phenolic compounds (antioxidants) than wine grapes. Most of these compounds are in your skin, and especially in your seed. These parts are used to extract resveratrol , a potent antioxidant used as a food supplement.
They have two chromosomes that do not have wine grapes and also the ellagic acid that is a potent anti-carcinogen is found in greater proportions. These exceptional components cause it to be called the Smart Grape.