These grapes taste like cotton candy because science
If you’re the type of person whose sweet tooth starts acting up just as you think you’ve figured out that whole eating-healthy thing, then worry no more: International Fruit Genetics is here to save the day. With a new breed of grape that tastes exactly like cotton candy without the whole consuming-straight-sugar aspect, you can finally satisfy your cravings without having to sacrifice your cheat day. The best part? They’re really just 100% grapes.
Bred by IFG and farmed by Grapery in Bakersfield, California, these companies follow natural and sustainable practices without resorting to any genetic splicing or flavor additives. Jim Beagle, CEO of Grapery, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “We were just trying to develop grapes with great taste, and we got lucky that one actually tasted like cotton candy.”
Work like this takes years to come to fruition (pun intended). Beagle reports that the Cotton Candy grapes took between 10 and 12 years to breed, and that the success rate for creating a new variety of grape is only about one in a million. Additionally, reaping the benefits of Cotton Candy grapes comes with its own set of conditions: They’ve got to be cold. “They don’t taste like cotton candy in hot weather, or even when it’s room temperature,” Beagle admits, so it’s best to pop them in the fridge before you start hankering for a seriously-sweet snack.
Beagle isn’t the only one who swears by them, either. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also talked to new customers like Naomi Stephenson who gushed, “It is amazing. If you close your eyes, you feel like you [are] eating pink cotton candy.” Available since 2013, you can find these treats at stores near you (like Whole Foods where they’re for $3.99 per pound) or on the Grapery website.
The only downside? Apparently these grapes don’t translate well into cotton-candy wine, though it’s not for lack of trying. “We made some wine from Cotton Candy grapes and it was terrible,” Beagle shares. “The flavor was awful, and the wine smelled like stale doughnuts.” (Which, okay, but who hasn’t enjoyed a stale doughnut every now and then?) “The chemistry in the grapes in terms of tannin and acid structures isn’t right for wine. It’s very different in general for fresh grapes.”
Whether you’re a health nut looking for dessert loophole, or just a a cotton-candy enthusiast who hates sticky fingers (because, let’s be real, it’s sort of impossible to eat that particular fair snack without the sugar crystalizing all over the spit on your fingers from licking your hands—or am I the only one who has this issue?), it’s clear that Grapery’s Cotton Candy Grapes are the clear solution to these snack food problems. Eat up, friends.