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Cotton Candy grapes taste like their namesake

Pop a Cotton Candy grape in your mouth and you might start laughing. They taste just like their namesake. Like sugar spun into cottony threads, the super-sweet grapes have unexpected vanilla and burnt caramel flavors ($3.99 to $4.99 for a pound). They were created through plant breeding and are a hybrid of Concord and green grapes. “We didn’t target certain flavors and set out to make the grapes taste like cotton candy,” says Jim Beagle of Grapery, the California company that grows the green seedless grapes as well as other one-of-a-kind varieties — like Tear Drops, with a distinctive elongated shape, and Gum Drops, lusciously sweet, purple little orbs. But what the company does intend, says Beagle, is to enhance the taste of grapes that often lose flavor by the time they hit stores. It can take more than a decade for species to cross-pollinate and for the fruit to be ready to sell. A late-summer delight, the cotton candy-flavored grapes are in stores only from mid-August through September. They are healthier than the carnival treat, too. Available at Idylwilde Farm, 366 Central St., Acton, 978-263-5943; and selected Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and Roche Bros. locations.

Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at atrieger@comcast.net.