The best thing about travel is discovering something new, different or unusual. This past weekend in a small fruit and vegetable shop in Toronto, I stumbled on something both new (to me) and different – witch finger grapes.
I hadn’t planned on buying when my friend and I stopped into the shop but as soon as I walked in, I felt a powerful urge to buy grapes. I love grapes: they’re tasty and easy to eat.
The store had the usual green and red seedless grapes. Next to them were these purple chilli pepper-looking variety. I hesitated. One of the guys in the store likely saw the puzzled look on my face. Before I could ask, he volunteered, “Those are witch fingers.”
Witch fingers? Where are they from?
I expected him to say somewhere in Ontario but he didn’t. They’re from California, he added.
California? You mean I had to come to Canada to find these California grapes?
I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy them – not because of the name. I wondered if they’d be sweet.
Try them, he said.
I broke a few off, rubbed them on my pants and popped them into my mouth. The juice that exploded and found its way down the back of my throat was unexpectedly, deliciously sweet. There was no question which ones I’d take.
Witch Finger Grapes are a hybrid variety that, according to specialtyproduce.com, is a cross between an American cultivar and a Mediterranean variety. I’ve been unable to find out how it got its distinctive shape or why it’s called witch fingers.
These little bundle of sweetness didn’t last till Sunday. I should have bought more than a pound.
What unusual foods have you found during your travels?
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