I can’t stop snacking on concord grapes. I received a basket as a parting gift from a recent dinner that celebrated the fall harvest of concords, a uniquely American fruit born in—you guessed it—Concord, Massachusetts that’s now grown in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington state.
The dinner was hosted by Welch’s, a family-farm-owned company, Alton Brown of The Next Iron Chef, and Alexandra Guarnaschelli, celebrity chef and Chopped judge. From the inventive cocktail created by Alton featuring Welch’s grape juice to the three-course meal created by Alexandra that used concord grapes in every dish (tossed in a salad, paired with duck, baked in a pie), my main takeaway from the night is that concord grapes taste great and are great for you.
As one of my coworkers said, “You just feel healthy eating them.” And indeed, eating concord grapes and drinking grape juice can positively impact your health. According to LiveStrong, the fruit is packed with polyphenols, or plant-based nutrients, that act as antioxidants to help strengthen your immune system. There is also research that suggests that grape juice provides some of the same benefits as red wine, reports the Mayo Clinic. So it’s no surprise that this fruit can help you maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure levels.
If you can’t find bunches of the real thing at the farmers’ market in your part of the country, the next best option is to get your hands on some juice—Welch’s perhaps. So pour yourself a glass, and toast your health.