Scuppernong is a bronze or greenish colored grape varietal that is similar to the white grape in its texture and appearance; however, it is bigger and rounder in shape with thick skin and seeds. This grape varietal is known for its wines and also its culinary uses in various preparations. It is native to the southwestern parts of United States, where it is popular known as the “big white grape”. In the south of United States, this grape is also known as “scuplin”, “scupanon, “scufadine” and “scupadine”.
This grape derives its name from the “Scuppernong River” that flows along the coastal plains of North Caroline and was discovered in the 15th century by the French explorers. There is a mention of “the big white grape” in a logbook that was written in the year 1524 by Giovanni de Verrazzano, an explorer from Florentine, during his exploration of the Cape Fear River Valley. It is only in 1755 that this grape got its name as “Scuppernong”. In fact, this varietal was praised abundantly by Governor Ralph Lane of North Caroline, wherein he talked about the richness of the soil of this land being on par with the vineyards of France and Spain. There is mention of this grape varietal in the official state toast of North Caroline and it is the state fruit.
- Scuppernong is mainly used for wine making.
- Because of the thick skin of the grapes, only the pulp is used in various dishes such as fruit salads, juices, jams, jellies and conserves.
- The wine of this grape is also used in baked foods such as cakes and pies.
- It is also used in the preparation of salsa.
Popular Scuppernong Recipes
This popular American grape varietal is used directly or in the form of wine in various preparations.
- Southern Peach Scuppernong Salsa – This is a very simple dish that is made by combining quartered grapes, peeled and chopped peaches, chopped red bell pepper, chopped Vidalia onion, seeded and minced jalapeno peppers and lime juice. Salt and pepper are added to taste and the salsa is chilled before it is served. Chopped fresh mint and tarragon too can be added to provide a different flavor to the salsa.
- Scuppernong Jelly - This is again another simple preparation using the scuppernong grapes, which are boiled till they are done and then mashed to form a smooth pulp along with the juice. This juice is boiled along with pectin till it reaches a thick consistency. Sugar is added to taste and the contents are simmered further to a jelly consistency, which is then packed into sterile jars. This jelly can be used in various preparations and consumed as it is too.
Scuppernong, like all other grapes, is very low in calories and has no cholesterol. Minerals such as potassium, iron, and magnesium are also present in traces along with vitamins such as C, A, riboflavin, thiamin and B-carotenes.
Scuppernong, also known as “Mother Vine”, is considered to be world’s oldest cultivated grapevine which is almost 400 years old.