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Muscadine Season is Here

Red and green muscadine grapes hanging on the vine, surrounded by green leaves.

Alabama muscadine and scuppernong grape lovers are enjoying their sweet taste, with their arrival in grocery stores, farmers markets, roadside stands and pick your own farms.

Besides their delicious flavor, muscadines are one of the richest sources of antioxidants found above ground.  Research points to significant health benefits associated with this grape.  That’s an added bonus for those who just love the fresh taste of these native grapes.

Unlike many human inhabitants, muscadines love the heat and humidity that is common in the South and thrive here as a result.

The difference in the scuppernong and the muscadine is the color and a little different taste. The scuppernong grape is a Muscadine grape. It is a green-bronze color and was named because it was found growing near the Scuppernong River in North Carolina (an Indian name) in the 17th century. There are numerous cultivars of muscadines for fresh eating and use in other products.

Muscadines make a healthy addition to diets.  “Not only are these grapes delicious and versatile, but they also contain ellagic acid and resveratrol, which studies say play a key role in preventing heart disease and high cholesterol. Additionally, they assist in treating ailments like arthritis, topical burns, and the flu.

Muscadines are good for making jams, jellies or any dishes using grapes.  Juice from the muscadines can be prepared and frozen or canned also for making jelly or drinking later.  Grape juice made from muscadines is very very tasty.  If you don’t grow them yourself there are a number of muscadine vineyards in the state of Alabama that sell fresh muscadine or allow you to pick your own.   You will need to search the internet to find vineyards in your area that you can go and pick from. They are usually very reasonable in price too.

Here are a few really good recipes using muscadines:

Muscadine “Dump Cake”

½ stick margarine
½ cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 cup prepared muscadines
¾ cup self-rising flour

To prepare muscadines, remove pulp.  Cook pulp until seeds loosen, then press through sieve to remove seeds.  Add pulp to skins and cook until tender.  Add sugar to taste, some grated lemon peel and a sprinkle of apple-pie spice.  Melt butter in glass pie plate.  Mix flour, sugar and milk in another bowl.  Pour flour mixture over butter.  Carefully pour prepared muscadines over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Do not open oven until baking time is up.  Cake should be brown on top. Yield: 8 servings.

Muscadine or Scuppernong Cobbler

2 lb Muscadine grapes (4 cups)
2 Cups Sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk

Directions:
Cut grapes in half, remove seeds & squeeze pulp into a bowl…Add skins & Cook with 1 cup sugar, lemon rind & apple pie spice in a saucepan over medium heat & bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer stirring occasionally…5 min or until tender.  Melt butter in an 11 X 7 baking dish in 350-degree oven. Stir together flour, remaining cup sugar& milk and pour over melted butter. Pour muscadine mix. over batter. Bake @ 350 for 35 min or until golden

For other information on growing or using muscadines please contact your local County Extension Office.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities), is an equal opportunity employer and educator. Everyone is welcome!