What Are Cotton Candy Grapes, Actually?

For those not in the know, the term “cotton candy grapes” might seem like a term straight out of a Mad Lib. What could they be? Grapes made of pillowy clouds? Has science finally gone too far? Well, before you go running for the hills to ride out the impending invasion of “funnel cake bananas,” there’s no science that’s gone awry here! Cotton candy grapes are a perfectly natural variety of the standard fruit. Once you come around to the idea that we’re not fooling, read on to find out a bit more about these wonderfully sweet additions to the fruit world! 

What is a cotton candy grape?

Officially, “Cotton Candy Grapes” is a trademark for a variety of sweet white table grapes first bred naturally by horticulturalist David Cain in 2011. The most notable aspect of this new strain of grape is the taste, which, true to its moniker, is almost alarmingly cotton candy-like. Cotton candy grapes can be bought in most grocery stores in the produce section, but they are unfortunately unavailable at most circuses and county fairs.

How are cotton candy grapes made? Are cotton candy grapes natural?

Cotton candy grapes are not made with any artificial flavoring or additives! They were created by crossbreeding sweet concord grapes with tart, green princess grapes. Talk about being greater than the sum of your parts!  

​​Yes, as bizarre as it sounds, the vanilla/caramel-ish cotton candy flavor of these grapes occur completely naturally through the cross-breeding. There’s not even any added sugar, which might surprise you after you taste them. 

How do cotton candy grapes get their flavor?

Cotton candy grapes get their unique taste through the hybridization of the typical seedless green table grape with a much more flavorful concord grape. We should be thankful, since the inventor, David Cain, didn’t exactly set out to make grapes that tasted like cotton candy; he merely wanted to see what would happen when he combined the two! What a stroke of luck for mankind! 

So, the next time you can’t get a kid to eat a helping of fruit, look to the cotton candy grape. Taste buds young and old will marvel at the uncanny cotton candy taste that’s straight out of the circus. But, the best part about eating cotton candy grapes as opposed to actual cotton candy? You don’t have to get near a clown.

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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