Shine Muscat Grapes — Most Expensive Grapes Ever?
I try to stick to buying local produce but once in a while I splurge on something more exotic. I recently saw an Instagram post about shine muscat grapes, so yesterday at T&T I went on the lookout. These grapes are green, seedless, typically imported from South Korea, and expensive as all heck.
Muscat is a huge umbrella family of grape varieties, with shine muscat being just one of many. Previously, I kind of associated muscat grapes with wine, but it turns out many varieties are good for eating as well.
How Much Do Shine Muscat Grapes Cost?
Shine muscat grapes were originally developed in Japan, but the brands I found at the supermarket here in Waterloo are all Korean. The one I bought was $50.68/kg—that’s $23/lb—compared to regular green grapes that I can pick up for $2/lb. I swear a good portion of the price comes from the shipping and packing costs alone. These grapes were packed in small, neat bunches, wrapped with mesh and plastic, with a foam tray underneath. The quality is definitely very good. None of the grapes were crushed or soft.
The two of us finished the 1 1⁄2 lbs in one sitting while watching TV. Yep, we ate about $50 worth of fruit through one or two episodes of Superstore.
So What’s Special About These Grapes?
Well, Kevin and I both decided on our first bite that these are definitely better than conventional table grapes. They are huge compared to other varieties and super firm, which is just how I like it. There are no stringy bits of fiber like you sometimes get in the grape’s center.
The skin of these grapes is pretty typically, sour and a bit astringent, but the flesh is more delicious than any other I’ve tasted. The texture is a bit like jelly, and all the ones I tasted were super fresh and sweet, no hint of sourness or off notes. Also, if you’re the type who really dislikes eating grape skins, the skins on these grapes peel off super easy.
Where and When To Find Shine Muscat Grapes in Canada
All in all, these are definitely the best grapes we’ve tried. But are they worth paying a premium of over $20/lb? No, not really. Also, with all the foam and plastic packaging, and considering they have to be transported from across the world, that’s a lot of waste for a small bunch of grapes.
That said, if you want to give these a try, try your local T&T Supermarket or other large Asian grocery store. I only started seeing them recently (September) so I don’t think they’re around all year. Go get them soon!