One bite and you’ll be hooked. Cotton candy grapes are taking the produce aisle by storm, making this otherwise ordinary fruit a highly sought-after commodity for its unbelievable just-like-cotton-candy taste that appeals to kids and grown-ups alike.
If you’re wondering what the deal is with these delicious snacks – and where to find them in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor – you’ve come to the right place.
What are cotton candy grapes?
There are no artificial sweeteners used to make these grapes taste like the popular carnival confection, like you might think.
According to Grapery, the California-based original producers of the specialty grape, the cotton candy flavor is achieved using “all-natural breeding practices” and a long process of experimenting and cross-pollination.
“Frankly, we were stunned when we discovered a new grape that tasted like cotton candy,” Grapery notes on its website. “But rest assured, it was accomplished by completely natural means. We didn’t apply any ‘cotton candy flavoring’ or plant any sort of flavoring materials in the soil to attain the cotton candy flavor.”
These grapes first became commercially available in 2011, NPR reports – and, if you’re concerned about the sugar habit, note that these have about 12 percent more sugar regular grapes but much less than raisins.
These grapes tend to be a bit more expensive than other varieties, but prices vary. CookingLight reported in June 2016 that three pounds of the delicious grapes could be bought for $9 at Costco.
Cotton candy grapes availability
So – how can you and your kids get your hands on some? The most important part of the answer might be when. Grapery has them in season Aug. 10-Sept. 20, 2019, though the company notes that availability times are approximate and can vary.
If you prefer organic food, try the offerings from Divine Flavor, which is based in Arizona, California and Texas. The business describes its grapes as having “100 percent cotton candy flavor to experience in every bite.”
The Divine Flavor website adds, “This green seedless grape whose fun flavor is captured in its name is a must-have in everyone’s table.”
These options are in season during May and June, and they’ve been spotted at Costco, Trader Joe’s and Kroger.
Another cotton candy grape producer is Molina Group, which is based in Mexico and has its grapes available in early August.
Where to buy cotton candy grapes
So where exactly can you buy these yummy fruit treats around metro Detroit and Ann Arbor? Here’s a quick look at where the Grapery variety can be found. Be sure to call the store of your choice before you head out – these grapes tend to be in high demand, so stock may vary, fluctuate or change!
- Busch’s Fresh Food Market
- Holiday Market
- Nino Salvaggio’s
- Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market
- Plum Market
- Randazzo Fresh Market
- Rocky Produce (distributor)
- Sam’s Club
- Vince and Joe’s Gourmet Market
This post was originally published in 2018 and is updated regularly.