Season: Available all year round

The grape is one of the oldest and most lovingly cultivated fruits, and we all know why. Much has been written in praise of wine, in contrast to the joys of the simple, unprocessed table grape (which, incidentally, accounts for a mere 10 per cent of world grape production). In reality, white grapes vary from green to yellow and black grapes from pretty pink to nearly blue.

There is a similar variation in size and flavour, from tiny seedless grapes (a favourite treat with children) to Muscat or Muscatel grapes (big and perfumed) and strange, straggly bunches of pinkish Italian grapes in autumn (often delicious, always cheap).

Grapes grown for the table are generally different to those used in wine-making – Muscat, Gamay and Tokay are exceptions – and to make one of those beautiful triangular clusters the growing fruit has to be carefully pruned, which adds to the expense.

GaTop-quality exports from South Africa have made this an all-year fruit.

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