Picture this: a hybrid of Thompson Seedless and Concord grapes — let’s call it the Thomcord. Luckily, in 1983, the two grapes were crossed by U.S. Department of Agriculture grape breeders at Parlier and was finally released to farmers in 2003. At Armata, distributing from the Hunts Point Market, we now offer Thomcord grapes!
In 1848, Ephraim Wales Bull, of Concord, Massachusetts, planted 22,000 seeds of wild grapes in hopes of finding “the perfect grape.” After going through the vines, he settled on the variety we know today as Concord — a selection of the native wild grape of the eastern part of North America. Thompson Seedless is a hybrid of Vitis vinifera — “seedless” is, in fact, misleading. California’s seedless grapes contain rudimentary seeds which have been bred to prevent pollination. Since the seeds stay small and unfertilized, they’re unnoticeable.
The Thomcord looks almost identical to a cluster of Concord with a hint of Labrusca’s heady grapiness in its flavor, making it superior among most seedless grapes; it’s sweet but not cloying.
When you bite into a Thomcord, you’ll notice the occasional tiny, crunchy bits in the berries — those being the rudimentary seeds which have developed just a little more than in the Thompson Seedless. Concord has also contributed to the hybrid with a little of the buzzy bite in the back of the throat that characterizes the wild grapes of the East.
At E. Armata, we are a family-run fruit and produce wholesaler now taking the name of one of the largest wholesalers operating in the Hunts Point Market. We pride ourselves on having a family tradition of loyalty to our customers and good partnerships with farmers and growers that span over generations. We work with the most recognizable fresh produce brands while offering our own E. Armata label to bring you the best of this industry.
Below is an interesting alternative to an ordinary fruit tart — the seedless grape tarte. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
Seedless Grape Tart | Serving size: 8
For the pastry cream:
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the assembled tart:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup rolled oatmeal
- 2 cups pastry cream
- 3½ cups green and red grapes, halved
For the pastry cream: In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until it becomes thick. Beat in the flour and cornstarch.
In a saucepan, bring milk just to a boil; gradually add the milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling the eggs.
Return mixture to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and pulling away from sides of pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula, press mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap, and cool to room temperature in refrigerator.
For the assembled tarte: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a food processor or blender, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the butter and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and blend until the mixture just comes together when squeezed. Add more water if necessary. Add the oats and blend to combine.
Press the dough onto the bottom and one inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. On a middle rack, bake for about 25 minutes watching carefully to ensure the dough doesn’t burn. Let the crust cool before taking it out of the pan.
When the crust is cool, remove the pan and place the crust on a serving plate. Whisk the cooled pastry cream until light and smooth. Spread a half inch or so even on the floor of the crust. Arrange the grapes cut side down on the pastry cream and press them in. Refrigerate until cold. Just before serving, dust the top with powdered sugar.
Want to learn more about our grape selection? Contact E.Armata located at the Hunts Point Market today!