Bangalore: It is the season for vineyards to harvest their produce all around the city and the `Grapes Fair' (Drakshi Mela) at the major HOPCOMS centre at Hudson Circle displays for sale a wide variety of the fruit at affordable prices.
At Rs. 143 for a one kg packet, the `Globe' grapes, round and purple, are the most expensive variety on display. The `Thompson Seedless,' green and oblong, is sold for Rs. 50 for 2 kg and is the least expensive. The `Sharad' variety is priced Rs. 72, the `Flames' at Rs. 75, `Sonika' Rs. 65 and the Crimson at Rs. 75, all for two kg. Sweet, a bit sour or a mix of both and tangy, the choice is for the consumers to make.
Horticultural experts and grape growers take pains to explain that these are all "table grapes" meant for eating. There are other varieties such as `Cabernet,' `Sauvignon' and `Shiraz' which are used to make wine; their sugar and acidity content make them ideal for that purpose though not for eating. HOPCOMS Managing Director Shahaz Banu and other officials were present to open the grapes mela which will be on for some more days, till stocks last.Nutritionists advice that table grapes should be thoroughly soaked for some minutes in water and then drained and eaten because of the chemical residue from pesticides that are likely to be present on the skin of the fruit. Though not fit for wine, the purple grapes are good to be made into fresh grape juice, rich in flavanoid anti oxidants.