Kyoho grapes are one of the many prized fruits given as luxury gifts in Japan. The incredibly sweet, large grapes range from a gorgeous deep violet color to black. Their name translates to “giant mountain grape,” inspired by Mount Fuji.
While most similar to Concord grapes, these grapes are actually a mix of the Centennial and Ishiharawase varieties. Yasushi Oinoue cultivated the hybrid in 1937, and in 2017, it was the most-planted grape variety by acreage.
Why are Kyoho grapes so expensive?
Like many fruits in Japan, this one is a bit pricey. Growing Kyoho grapes is a meticulous process. Farmers wrap each bunch in a paper bag to protect it from pests and diseases, and constantly monitored the grapes as they ripen. Even though China and other parts of Asia grow the majority of the world’s Kyoho grapes, you can also find them here in the States. The grapes are in season from June to September.
Grape for Snacking and Flavoring
These grapes have thick, bitter-tasting skin that people usually prefer to peel off before eating. The seeds should also be discarded for maximum enjoyment.
Often used as table grapes, this variety is the perfect charcuterie board component. They’re so flavorful, they can stand alone as a great snack. These grapes lend their flavor to a number of drinks and pastries. You’ll find them in Japanese cocktails like Chūhai, on top of tarts, and mixed into ice cream for a beautiful lavender hue. And of course, they make a sweet wine.
Just like Japanese peaches, there’s even a signature Kyoho grape KitKat and grape parfaits in cafes across Japan. You can also find Kyoho grape Pocky and Red Bull.
Try using them in some sweet and savory grape recipes, or just start snacking!
Fresh grapes last 2 to 4 days in the coldest part of the fridge.
Check out the other specialty fruits we have this summer: