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Q: Why Does This Grape Tastes Like Cotton Candy? A: Because It Was Genetically Engineered to Taste Like Cotton Candy

Via NPR:

“When it pops in your mouth, the first impression is a rush of cotton candy flavor,” says Spencer Gray, a personal chef in Culver City and blogger at Omnivorous who has sampled the grapes. “The green grapes don’t look or smell like cotton candy,” he tells The Salt, “but they will remind you of a circus.” His son, he says, loves them.

Here’s how horticulturist David Cain did it: cross-bred Concord-like grapes with regular grapes until there were 100,000 test tube grapes and one of them tasted like cotton candy (no tartness, lots of vanilla). Circus grapes only have about 12% more sugar than regular grapes, and the Grapery—the farm responsible for these innovations—has expanded its crop land from 2 acres to 200 acres, and offers other exotic varieties like this one, a grape whose looks live alarmingly well up to its name: “Witch Fingers.”

“When you go to the supermarket, there’s like 15 kinds of apples — Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, Braeburn. The list goes on,” Cain tells The Salt. “We want to give consumers the same array of flavors for grapes.”

“We already have other varieties that taste like strawberry, pineapple or mango,” he says. “We’re still testing those out to see if they’re commercial [sic] viable.”

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