Concord grapes are most often used to make products such as juice, jelly, and packaged goods, many of which are made at home. The types of concord grape differ based on their sweetness, and the type chosen can vary depending on the foods that you intend to make. Generally, concord grapes are not widely available in supermarket chains because they are not eaten whole like normal table varieties due to the amount of seeds. When looking for these types of grapes, it is important that you select the most ripe and fresh varieties to ensure a quality product that has a desirable taste.
When choosing concord grapes to process at home, there are a few things to look for to ensure that you find a quality product. Concords that are grown in North America are a distinct purple color, while the hue can vary slightly when planted in other regions of the world. Quality concord grapes are never green or red, like some other types that are eaten whole. Aside from the color, firm skins are indicative of ripe grapes; those with soft spots or bruises should be avoided, as these are likely spoiled.
Aside from the appearance of the actual concord grapes, the vine on which they are grown can reveal the quality of the fruit. The vines as well as the stems are usually green, although brown versions simply indicate that the grapes are at their ripest. Avoid black vines, as the fruit is likely overripe or spoiled.
Most supermarket chains do not sell concord grapes, because it is not a highly demanded food product from consumers that like to eat table versions. Instead, you might be able to find the grapes in smaller grocery stores, or at farmer’s markets. Another option is to grow the grapes at home if you have a difficult time finding them elsewhere. Some farmers sell the seeds to the public or you might find them for purchase online.
Concords grow on vines, and are often considered as one of the easiest types to plant in the world. This type of grape was developed in Concord, Massachusetts, during the 1800s by Ephraim Wales Bull. The ripest versions are generally available during the summer months, although processed concord grapes can be frozen if desired in order to use the product year-round.