We’re having an extremely difficult time keeping up with all of the food hybrids that have been hitting menus and grocery store shelves as of late. Whether it’s an apple pie Oreo, fried egg taco shell, or the infamous Cronut, the creative forays into food science, creation, and production seemingly have no bounds.
One of the most unique contributions to the world of culinary infusions is the cotton candy grape, whose carnival-esque flavor profile is completely natural, all thanks to Mother Nature.
California-based Grapery has been distributing the product since early 2011, though the demand for the seasonal fruit has been unprecedented. And because the harvesting time is limited to a 40-day window in August and September, it’s been difficult for the company to keep up with an increase in orders. Unfortunately for us East Coasters, this has resulted in quite a few sold out signs in the produce sections of our favorite stores. (Whomp, whomp.)
But now, thanks to Grapery’s updated website, we can officially confirm that cotton candy grapes are available at Wegman’s, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club, and Kroger. This means you can call ahead and ask if your new favorite vine-ripened fruit is in stock, saving you a trip if you’re late to the punch. (For a full list of stores that carry the summertime indulgence, click here.)
Perhaps the most important question is: Are they worth the hype? Frankly, we have a difficult time tasting the cotton candy flavor, though many argue it comes through strongly. Horticulturalist David Cain (who is not a rodeo clown or circus ringmaster) founded the grape by cross-pollinating two different species, resulting in an uber-sweet green variety whose taste resembles spun sugar.
Whether you can taste the carnival staple or not, one thing’s for certain: It’s a much healthier alternative to actual cotton candy. Though our favorite grape will always be one that is turned into wine.