Grape

The Tangy-Sweet Pickled Fruit I Put on Absolutely Everything

Meet your new favorite fall snack.

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November  8, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

We've partnered with Grapes from California to celebrate all the wonderful, delicious ways grapes make the perfect fall snack, starting with one of our favorites: pickled California grapes with cozy spices!


I've always thought that pickling was reserved for vegetables only. You know, like cucumbers, carrots, radishes, onions, and the like.

But a recent discovery has (happily) proved me very, very wrong: pickled grapes.

I don't know why the thought of pickling fruit never occurred to me, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The tangy (and totally customizable) brine brings out fruit's natural sweetness, while adding just the right amount of zip to keep the flavor from being too one-note. And as a bonus, pickled things keep for about five or six months in the fridge, so you can enjoy them for weeks on end.

But back to these grapes.

Pickled in a mixture of white wine vinegar, water, sugar, and a pinch of salt, they pick up a noticeable—though not overpowering—bite, and still retain their distinctive juiciness.

They also star a secret ingredient that makes them different from any other pickled thing you've had before: chai.

Once you pour the warm pickling liquid over the cut-in-half grapes, you add a single chai tea bag to the jar and let everything mingle in the fridge overnight.

This quick addition brings the warm, cozy flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and clove to otherwise simple pickles. The result is aromatic, perfectly acidic, autumn-ready, and 100 percent snackable.

Lately, my go-to way to eat pickled grapes has been as a snack over creamy vanilla yogurt with flecks of chopped mint, a sprinkle of cacao nibs, and a drizzle of honey. But they're also great on toasted bread spread with ricotta and topped with fresh basil.

They'd also work nicely in a salad with kale, a sharp cheese (like English cheddar), and shredded chicken. Likewise on a cheese board, over grilled meats, and even atop white pizza with ricotta, mozzarella, and garlic.

Whichever way you try them, I hope pickled grapes become your new favorite secret ingredient like they've become mine.


More Grape Snack Ideas

What's your go-to way to snack with grapes? Tell us in the comments below!

In partnership with Grapes from California, we're sharing our favorite seasonal ways to eat grapes. California’s table grape growers are committed to providing the best-tasting, highest-quality grapes in the world and produce 99% of all U.S. table grapes. In season from May through January, grapes from California make the perfect wholesome and tasty ingredient for fall and winter dishes. From tangy pickled grapes with cozy chai spices to a zingy grape chutney that'll give your favorite cranberry sauce a run for its money, there are many creative (and delicious!) ways to show off the versatility of grapes throughout autumn and beyond.

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Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.

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