This appetizer will surprise you. You make a simple syrup, dip in clusters of two three grapes, let them dry and eat away. It’s refreshing and quite unexpected if you used to “unamplified grapes.” If you are a sugar addict, like me, these are a delight. There is that surprising crunch as you bite the coating and the hit of sweetness from that sugar followed by the inherent sugar of the grape. You will smile.

Once made and dry, and the drying takes an hour or two, these need to be eaten in 3-4 hours. After that, at room temperature, they begin to soften. No, I haven’t tried to freeze them, but that’s a good idea. We’ve frozen grapes before and they were fine, but never sugar encrusted.

What to serve these with? Soft French cheese.

Crackling Good Grapes

Yield: enough for 6 people or so for appetizers


½ pound seedless grapes

1 cup water

½ cup sugar


Rinse the grapes and drain them on a wire rack until completely dry, completely. Cut the grapes into small cluster of two or three grapes each, leaving a stem that’s long enough to hold onto while dripping

Combine the water and sugar in a heavy 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly over medium-high heat. Stop stirring and boil undisturbed, watching carefully, until the syrup around the edge of the pan begins to acquire a pale yellow tinge, about 10 to 15 minutes. Removed from the heat and set the pan in another pan that has been partially filled with warm water. Working quickly, dip each grape cluster into the syrup, holding it over the pan until the excess syrup has drained, then set aside on a piece of waxed paper, or a wire rack to harden. Remove from the waxed paper just before serving.

Source: The Thanksgiving Cookbook by Holly Garrison [Wiley, 1991]


Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/50th second at ISO‑100