I sincerely love Concord grapes, the ones that taste rich like real grape jam, with jellied insides and chewy skins. But I don't love their seeds. Maybe I'm a wimp; maybe I'm too lazy. So I was delighted to finally try the Thomcord grape — a virtually seedless variety, a cross of Concord and Thompson Seedless. They are the best of both worlds!
I found these grapes late this season; they may not be available anymore where you are, but if you haven't had them, do try to find them. (I found them at Trader Joe's.) They taste like the essence of grape, that plummy, dark jelly with notes of red wine and perfume. But the seeds are barely evident and the skins are thinner than Concord.
So you can pop these grapes into your mouth just like regular seedless grapes. But they taste so much better than plain old red and green grapes, which I often find to be insipid and too crunchy. These are also fantastic grapes for baking, since you don't have to work around the seeds.
This is a relatively new hybrid, and it hasn't yet become as widely popular as the heartier Thompson grapes. These are more fragile and difficult to ship. But i do hope that they become more widely available in season; they are so much closer to what I want in a juicy grape.
• More about Thomcord grapes: Thomcord Grape: Flavorful, Attractive--and Seedless! - At USDA.
• Want to plant Thomcord vines? Thomcord Seedless Grape at Stark Bros.
(Images: Faith Durand)