Witch Finger Grapes, An Unusual Find

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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13 comments on “Witch Finger Grapes, An Unusual Find

  1. These look great and I am so glad they taste wonderful too. Sometimes unusual fruits like this look great but the taste can be disappointing. Not this time it would seem.

  2. I’ve never seen ‘witch-finger’ grapes and I live just north of California! Things we learn when we travel! And isn’t that why we love doing it so much?! Great post Marcia!

  3. I’ve never heard of these before, but you have definitely inspired me to go on the hunt for them! Maybe I’ll get lucky at Whole Foods?!;-) I also love grapes, because they are easy to eat without a lot of mess, and super portable!

  4. I love grapes, and these sound delicious! One of my favorite fruit, which I discovered traveling, is rambutan. It’s the season here, so earlier this week I sat by the pool and had a rambutan feast! 🙂

  5. I think that all grapes must be round, but apparently I was wrong. Although, I was so confused when I saw the picture.

  6. Could you please share the name of the store and or location of where you purchased yours from. I live in the same city and would love to try some if any are still in stock or catch them next time they are in season. Thanks ever so kindly.

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