While grocery shopping over the weekend at our local Garden of Eden, we chanced upon yet another fruit we had never heard of before: the Grāpple. Yes, someone has actually created the grape-flavored apple. Surprisingly, this fruit isn’t a GMO hybrid, but rather a Washington Extra Fancy Gala or Fuji apple that’s been soaked in a concentrated grape-flavor solution, which imparts a Concord grape taste to the apple while retaining the apple’s texture. Which begs the question, Why? If you want a grape-flavored fruit, what the hell is wrong with grapes?
Wanting to learn more about this bizarre fruit, we purchased the Grāpples, which come in a four-pack clamshell because the Washington Department of Agriculture deems the product as “processed.” Thus, it may not be tampered with by consumers before purchase and must be kept separate from other loose or bulk apples. The aroma was quite grapy, actually very similar to Dimetapp, but the fruit itself was much more apple-y than expected. The apple itself was crisp, with moderate sweetness and acidity — rather boring, actually, except for the weird grape taste.
But really, why does this product exist? According to the Grāpple website: “Where kids are concerned, the selection of good fruit choices in winter can be difficult. This winter give them something they might really enjoy in their lunchbox or for an after school snack. Offer a Washington state apple that may look like others, but the taste is purely unique.” OK, so this is a product specifically created for children. Sure, apples are easier to transport in a lunch box or backpack than grapes, and Concord grapes can be hard to find in grocery stores. But what’s wrong with giving kids a handful of apple slices and a bunch of regular grapes? Do we really want our kids growing up thinking that apples should taste like grapes? What’ll be next, candy-flavored broccoli?