Although most grapes are destined for wine barrels, there is plenty enough just for eating and enjoying. With a yearly production of around 76 million tons (for wine, table grapes and raisins), grapes are one of the world’s largest food crops, even more than bananas, oranges and apples. About 51% of the total grape harvest is processed into wine and liquors, 8% are dried into raisins and 6% are processed into juices and must. The rest, about 35% or 27 million tons, are sold as table grapes.
Compared to wine grapes, table grapes usually have larger berries and a firmer pulp. Consumers mostly prefer colored and crunchy berries with a thin skin, sweet taste and if possible without any seeds in it.
Table grapes – three large producers
Only 3 countries produce about 50% of the world’s table grape production, namely China, India and Turkey.
Between 2000 and 2014 global table grape production almost doubled to 27 million tons. An increase that is mainly due to the demand of the Chinese, Indian as well as Turkish consumer markets.
Healthy and tasty
Grapes are a real power food. They contain not only all important vitamins (A,B and C) but also plenty of valuable minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium as well as the micronutrients magnesium, zinc and copper combined with healthy natural fruit acids and glucose. With around 70kcal per 100g it is indeed not a dietetic food but very worth enjoying.
Try fresh grapes with a selection of delicious Swiss cheese, such as a Gruyere, Appenzeller or Chällerhocker and with a glass of Argentine Malbec – I promise, it’s delicious!
Cover picture: Grape harvest in autumn 2018, picture by Christoph Schneider