It was not until 1854 that the Concord grape variety made its debut, named after the Massachusetts village of Concord where the first variety was grown. The Concord grape is a robust and aromatic grape whose ancestors were wild native species found growing in the rugged New England soil.
They are best known for being the main ingredient in grape juice. Dr. Thomas Welch, a dentist and prohibitionist, created grape juice for the first time in 1869. He harvested forty pounds of grapes from his front yard, and cooked and squeezed them. He then filtered the juice, bottled it and boiled it to stop fermentation. His experiment was successful and churches started using his grape juice for use during Communion.
Concord grapes have a slip skin (skin that separates from the pulp), which is thicker than the fixed skin on European grapes. The grapes we get from Hepworth Farm have seeds, although most grapevines in production today produce seedless grapes. Seedless grapes actually do contain seeds at some point, but a genetic defect prevents the seeds from forming the hard outer coats that normal seeds do. (Further science and fun facts about seedless vs. seeded here.)
Concord grapes are an excellent source of Vitamin K and the phyto-nutrient resveratrol, which helps maintain heart health and decreases blood pressure.
Concord grapes can be eaten fresh or used for making preserves, juice, wine, liqueur, and vinegar.