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Take a Grape Escape

If you’ve been to Las Vegas in the summer, you know what “oven-hot” feels like. I remember summers there would render us desperate to escape the afternoon heat. Brilliantly, my sister came up with the idea of a daily “Grape Escape.” Simply wash, dry and freeze grapes. During the hot afternoon, indulge yourself in the grape escape. Eat them, hold them to your temples, roll one or two over the back of your neck, or as my young niece tried to do, stuff one in your belly button for an immediate cooling effect! When you hit the bottom of the batch, be prepared to get grape-greedy. Grapes are among the oldest cultivated fruit — possibly cultivated in Asia as far back as 5,000 B.C. Even ancient hieroglyphics depict Egyptians involved in grape production and wine making. These days, grapes are grown all over the world. Although California has been producing grapes for over 300 years, growing more than 50 varieties, Italy takes the number-one spot for production of table grapes. Depending on their use, grapes are classified as either wine grapes, which are small, sweet and ornamental looking, or table grapes, the varieties most of us are familiar with. Within these two classifications, there are numerous varieties. My personal favorite is the Concord grape, a sweet, astringent deep purple grape commonly used to make grape juice. Fresh grapes should be dry and firm, no soft spots or molding. Be sure to wash well before eating. Enjoy cold or room temperature for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. Remember to freeze them for your own grape escape, or gratify your grape needs with these fresh ideas: Do you grapple in grapes? Got a favorite grape escape? Let me know!

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Gina Cook says …

Gina from Whole Foods Tustin Wine Department here with my favorite use for frozen grapes: use them instead of ice cubes to keep white and rose wines chilled on hot days. They won't melt, so your beverage doesn't get watery/diluted, plus, you have a tasty treat to eat upon draining your glass!

Don Gilliam says …

I shop at Whole Foods, Columbus Circle, New York City. I am upset that I have not been able to purchase Almond Jalepeno Jack Style Cheese Alternative, made by Lisanatti Foods since early this year (2011.) The store continues to stock other Almond Cheese Alternative's such as Cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc. I noticed that the Jalepeno Almond Cheese is available at Whole Foods' 14th Street store, however I rarely go that far to shop. Please restore this item. Thank you, Don Gilliam

says …

@Don Gilliam Thank you for suggesting that Whole Foods Market stocks Jalapeno Almond Cheese at the Columbus Circle store. Because much of the company’s product sourcing is done locally and regionally, I would encourage you to reach out to your local store directly to see if the store might special order it for you. This flexibility allows every one of our stores to best serve the needs and requests of local shoppers. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/columbuscircle/

almani says …

That looks so good those fruity flapjacks.YUUUMMMM!That really looks good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!