ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is well known for its citrus groves, but the next superfood sensation could be found right here in the Sunshine State.
As a native Floridian, I never heard of muscadine grapes.
“It has a different taste and different texture,” said Dr. Ali Sarkhosh, an associate professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida.
Sarkhosh joined the News 6 podcast Your Florida Daily to explain his experiments.
They’re juicy with a notoriously thick leathery skin with bitter seeds which is why they are most often squeezed into wine or juice.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:
Because the peel can be difficult to chew and swallow, often people who eat the muscadine grape only eat the flesh.
Sarkhosh points to this as a problem since the peel is rich with nutritional benefits, such as antioxidants, dietary fiber and flavonoids which is how his team came up with the idea to transform the chewy grape into a more palatable snack.
“So that’s why we came up with the idea to do freeze-dried muscadine,” Sarkhosh said.
Find every episode of Florida Foodie on YouTube:
By freeze-drying the muscadine grapes, each bite has a satisfying ‘crunch’ that keeps the grape flesh and skin combined.
It also extends the grape’s shelf life.
According to the University of Florida, the Sunshine State has a thriving muscadine grape industry, and the grapes grow particularly well in the hot and humid state.
Listen to the full episode above and subscribe to Your Florida Daily on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.