It seems that men have always eaten grapes. Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, in Greek mythology. He was also known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans. Since antiquity, we can find evidence of consumption of wine (made with grapes). More recently, table grapes have been introduced and consumed all over the world since the 17th century. Grapes grow almost everywhere in the world even if they prefer a temperate but sunny climate. However, some species can accommodate special situations (very hot climate, volcanic lands).
There are many varieties of grapes. In France, one can mainly find on the markets Muscat (very small sweet black beans), Chasselas (small grains of gold color), Italia (coarse green, thick skin, very sweet flavor), Alphonse Lavallée or Ribol (large black beans, thick skin). The season begins in August and lasts until October although the southern hemisphere production allows, if desired, eating fresh grapes in December or January.
Grapes are very sweet and provide at least 72 kcal/100 g. Very popular with children, it brings energy after exercise, when tired or in case of hypoglycemia. Grapes contain many essential nutrients including B vitamins (B1, B2, B6), vitamin C, manganese, copper. They are rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids like <quercetin, catechins="">
Grapes are also famous for its resveratrol, the substance of the polyphenol family, known for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties (it is assumed that cancers are indirectly caused by an inflammatory condition). Resveratrol also helps regulate the levels of bad cholesterol, thus acting in prevention of cardiovascular diseases (hence the famous "French paradox"). Finally, rich in water and fiber, grapes stimulate intestinal transit and prove to be a good diuretic. Some consume cure mono-diet a few days to clean and drain the body.
Table Grapes are very fragile. It is better it to buy in small quantities, to be consumed quickly. It can possibly be kept a few days in the refrigerator in a paper bag. Prefer organic table grapes, otherwise rinse them to remove pesticide residues as far as the vines are often treated significantly. The concentration of the most important polyphenols being in the skin, it would be a shame not to eat table grapes' skin!
Grapes retain their maximum amount of nutrients and their maximum taste when they are enjoyed fresh and not prepared in a cooked recipe. Cooking temperatures used in baking can damage some of the phytonutrients found in this fruit. Table grapes are very popular as between-meal snack as well as a refreshing addition to both fruit and vegetable salads. It goes well with cheese, and turns out an ingredient of choice for salty sweet alliances with white meats or curries and goes into the preparation of various desserts. Like all dried fruits, raisins (i.e. dry grapes) are more caloric than fresh grapes. They have the advantage of being available all year round. When available, choose organic raisins (without preservatives). Raisins are used in the cooking, the pastry (couscous, tajine, cakes, etc.) or as snacks. Children enjoy raisins for snack, as "vegetable candy".
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