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King Dela Grapes
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King Dela grapes are small to medium in size and are round to oval in shape, growing on small, tightly packed clusters. The red-brown skin is smooth, thick, and firm and is regarded by some to be very chewy. The flesh is translucent, juicy, and seedless. King Dela grapes are crisp, very aromatic, and sweet with a distinct musky flavor. Its flavor is similar to one of its parents, the Muscat of Alexandria.
King Dela grapes are available in the summer and fall.
The King Dela grape is a hybrid variety of Vitis vinifera and is a cross between the muscat of Alexandria, a highly aromatic European white grape, and a red pearl, a little known black grape. King Dela grapes are grown in Japan and are extremely popular. They are so highly prized in Japan that each grape is sometimes found marketed as a separately packaged item, often at exorbitant prices. In fact, the particular bunch in the picture above cost around twenty-five dollars in 2013.
King Dela grapes are a good source of antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamins A, C, and K.
King Dela grapes are best suited for raw consumption and are excellent fresh out-of-hand eating due to its sweet flavor and juiciness. They can be cooked and made into jellies or jams, or combined with other fruits in pies, cakes, and desserts. The sweetness and the aroma of its muscat parentage also make these grapes pair well with a variety of cheeses. King Dela grapes will keep up to one week when stored in the refrigerator.
Grape cultivation in Japan began in the 19th century, but only a few Vitis vinifera species could survive due to diseases. The muscat of Alexandria was one of the surviving species and was used by breeding programs to create new table grape cultivars that could thrive in Japan’s climate. The King Dela grape was created to meet market demand for a seedless table grape. It is highly valued for its sweet and unique flavor and is found only in Japan.
The King Dela grape was created by H. Nakamura, a private grape breeder, and officially registered as a new grape variety in Osaka, Japan in 1985. Today they can be found in markets throughout Japan and are rarely exported or found in other countries.