Grapes | Üzüm

Grapes are an ancient fruit. Some believe that the origins date back more than 130 millions years. Other say that the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden was actually grapes. In either case, humans soon discovered that that grapes naturally make wine when airborne yeast and enzymes cause fermentation of the fruit. The earliest archeological record of beverages being made from fermented grapes was discovered in China and dates back to between 7,000 and 6,600 BC. Additionally, archaeological records suggest that cultivation of the domesticated grape occurred between 6,000 – 8,000 years ago in the Black Sea Region. Prior to the 16th century, grapes were almost exclusively used for making wine. The consumption of grapes as table fruit is more recent historic development. The popularization has been traced to the French King Francois I (1494-1547). Ruling France from 1515 until his death, he had a fondness for the Chasselas Grapes as a dessert.

 
 


Preparation


In Turkey, every part of the grape plant is utilized. Grape leaves are used for making yaprak sarma (rice filled grape leaves). The fruit is eaten fresh or dried into raisins. Finally, the juice is consumed fresh or fermented into wine.

 
 


Quick Guide


In Turkish, grapes are called üzüm.
Although grapes are grown throughout Turkey, the Aegean and Marmara regions are the primary areas for cultivation.
Grapes are available from May through October. The peak season is September.

 
 


Inspiration


‘The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams.’
― Thomas Love Peacocker

 
 



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