Carnival grapes are deliciously sweet fruits that take us back to childhood. They are one of the sweetest grape varieties in the world, with a beautiful eye-catching golden color.
But why are these grapes sweeter than other varieties? What do they taste like? And can you grow them at home?
Below we answer all these questions and more, so stay tuned!
History of the Carnival Grape
Carnival grapes were first introduced by a third-generation family farm in California called Sunview Vineyards. The grape was developed through a traditional and all-natural breeding process that gives Carnival grapes their golden color, crisp texture, and unbelievably sweet flavor.
Carnival grapes are sold by Sunview Marketing International of California Inc. they hold a proprietary patent which means one can’t grow these grapes legally without Sunview’s permission.
According to Mitch Wetzel, the vice president of sales and marketing for Sunview Marketing, Carnival grapes reach their optimum flavor once they ripen to their golden color.
Characteristics of the Carnival Grape
Carnival grapes are white seedless grape varieties that have distinctive golden skin. These media to large grapes also contain more sugar than most other varieties, which accounts for their sweet taste that reminds people of a certain carnival snack they loved as kids. They also have a soft yet firm texture, not exactly crispy, but not too soft either. They also possess a very strong sweet fragrance.
Eating Carnival Grapes.
Okay, now for the fun part. Let’s dive into what these grapes taste like and all the different ways you can enjoy them.
What do Carnival grapes taste like?
These grapes remind most people of cotton candy, although some folks suggest they also have that candy apple flavor. Either way, these are incredibly sweet grapes, sweeter than most other grapes on the market, with notes of burnt caramel and vanilla.
What do Carnival grapes go with?
Carnival grapes are fantastic with all kinds of other foods. These grapes taste great with cheese like sharp cheddar or mozzarella. You really get that salty-sweet contrast. They also taste great with other fruits and are perfect for fruit salads, trays, and kabobs. They are also fantastic when eaten frozen!
How to use Carnival grapes in Cooking?
You can substitute Carnivals for recipes that call for grapes, and you’ll get a much sweeter flavor agent. Believe it or not, grapes are not just used in desserts but also in lots of lunch and dinner recipes as well.
Carnival grape recipes
Here are a few examples of some amazing grape recipes you can take to the next level with Carnival grapes.
- Farro Salad with Oven Roasted Grapes and Autumn Greens
- Garden-of-Evil Punch
- Roasted Grape Shortcakes
- No-Churn Grape Sorbet
- Roasted Chicken Breasts with Grape Stuffing
- Grape Pico de Gallo
- Grape Focaccia
- Fruit and Spinach Salad
- Creamy Grape Salad
- Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches
- Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Snackability of Carnival grapes
The snackability level of Carnival grapes is through the roof! These grapes are almost as addictive as candy, and since they have more sugar than regular grapes, you probably should enjoy them in smaller portions if you’re watching your sugar intake.
For kids, these grapes are everything they could want. They are sweet enough to replace many of their favorite fruit candies and way healthier by a mile!
The Health Benefits of Carnival Grapes
Aside from fiber, potassium, Vitamins C, A, and K, Carnival grapes offer a wide range of health benefits. Here are just a few.
Antioxidants consist of compounds proven to ward off harmful free radicals, thus preventing cellular damage. When free radicals are allowed to build up, they have shown to be a contributing factor to a few types of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Blood Sugar Regulator
Since grapes have a naturally low glycemic index, this means they are not as likely to spike blood sugar the same way foods with a higher glycemic index would. However, grapes such as Carnival that have higher sugar content should be eaten with more moderation as they often have double the sugar of most grape varieties.
Studies also show that grapes have several vital compounds known as polyphenols that assist in reducing blood sugar levels while improving the function of cells that produce insulin. The insulin hormone transports sugar from our blood to our cells, where it’s used as fuel. By increasing natural insulin levels, people can promote healthier blood sugar levels.
Every serving of grapes also offers an extra dose of fiber which is very important for slowing down the absorption of sugar in our bloodstream, thus assisting in maintaining steady blood sugar levels.
Antioxidants are also shown to reduce inflammation. So by adding a cup or two of grapes to your daily diet, you can also improve mobility and reduce inflammation. This is due to their glutathione peroxidase levels, a special enzyme with anti-inflammatory attributes that protect your cells from damage.
More benefits include:
- Boosts brain function thanks to flavonoids like anthocyanins
- Helps fight bacteria due to compounds and antimicrobial properties.
- It might help prevent cancer due to antioxidants like resveratrol and polyphenols that have anticancer properties.
Can You Grow Carnival Grapes At Home?
Unfortunately, home growers cannot grow this grape since it’s trademarked produce grown by commercial growers who hold a license to grow and cell Carnival Grapes.
Carnival Grape FAQ
Carnival grapes vs. Cotton Candy grapes: What’s the difference?
One thing a lot of people find confusing, especially when searching for Carnival grapes, is how they are often conflated with Cotton Candy grapes. And while some would swear they can taste a “difference” between them, the truth is that they are essentially the same grape, grown by different companies.
They are different brands but have the same flavor.
How much do Carnival grapes cost?
You should know about Carnival grapes or any Cotton candy grape because these fruits are generally much more expensive than your regular grape variety. For one thing, they are not available year-round and, of course, have a very distinctive taste.
While you may pay as low as 80 cents per pound for table grapes, you could spend between $4 and $6 per pound for Carnival grapes. However, the outstanding quality is well worth the price, according to die-hard fans.
When are Carnival Grapes available?
Carnival grapes are available for purchase starting in September, and they are usually off store shelves by January or February of the following year.
Where To Buy Carnival Grapes
You can usually find Carnival grapes at your local grocery store, or you might try some specialty grocers like Whole Foods or Sprouts. They are pretty easy to find online as well, and many retailers can ship them directly to your home.
Wrapping Up the Carnival Grape
The delicious Carnival grape is one of the sweetest grapes you can buy when you’re trying to satisfy your sweet tooth with something healthy. While one should not go wild consuming too many of these sugary grapes in one sitting, they are a great snacking option when eaten in moderation.
To learn more about grapes, read our other grapes blog posts.