Grower Develops Cotton Candy Grapes


Table grapes come in many varieties: red, green, seedless, and now cotton candy. It isn't something most people would associate with the flavor of a grape, but International Fruit Genetics created a variety it says tastes just like spun sugar.

International Fruit Genetics General Manager David Cain said, "It tastes quite a bit like cotton candy."

It's been eight years in the making. Cain says by breeding wild grape species, they've developed the unique flavor.

"This is all natural, and we don't do any genetic engineering or anything," said Cain.

It's not a simple process. They start by pollinating the vines by hand.

It will develop into a grape berry that can be put in a test tube to grow another plant and eventually allows further cross-combinations, like cotton candy. It doesn't stop there.

Cain said, "We've got some that we're working on that have sort of a. People describe them as mango or pineapple, and we have some that have sort of an almost strawberry-type flavor."

Cain says those varieties aren't widely available yet. Cotton candy grapes are sold to some retailers on the East Coast and out of the county, but Cain says he hopes they will soon catch on locally.

"The major commercial production is just starting to come in this year, where we have several hundred acres starting to come in," said Cain.