sweet, sweet orbs

This is the time of year when the anticipation of local summer fruits weakens the resistance to ones flown in from the southern hemisphere. Chilean muscatel (or muscat) grapes are in season. These delicate spheres of sweetness, commonly used in dessert wines like Moscato d’Asti, are fragile, and in the mouth they gush clean, liquid sweetness. But you pay the price in seeds and skin that is slightly thicker and more tannic than your average red seedless. You don’t see them much in produce sections simply because as a species we are lazy grape eaters. “They’re not the most popular grapes but they are the most delicious,” says Chris Dallas, co-owner of Harvestime Foods, where they’re now going for $2.98 a pound. Dallas, whose brother is the store’s produce buyer, said they had to beg their distributor to score a couple cases. Get them now or you’ll have to wait for them in the fall.

Harvestime Foods, 2632 W. Lawrence, 773-989-4400