Southern Pound Cake with Spiced Peaches
Chicken Tamales with Fresh (or Dry!) Corn Husks

Mississippi Muscadines

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September in the south is something I look forward to all year... muscadine season! For those of you who may not be familiar with muscadines, they are a grapevine species that can be found from the Carolinas over to parts of Texas and Oklahoma. In Mississippi, muscadines grow wild all over the place, but there are also orchards full of them and many people have rows planted in their yards. 

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Now, I am not hating on standard grapes at all because I have much love for them as well, but muscadines are just incomparable. Once you try one, you will know what I mean! You might have noticed how many country songs reference the sweetness of muscadines. ("Deeper than a sunset sky, sweeter than muscadine wine" - Love You Like That by Canaan Smith, "Four wheel drives and big mud tires. Muscadine wine" - My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean, "Honeysuckle vine and muscadine wine" - Home by Dolly Parton... Just to name a few!)

I was recently back home in Mississippi staying at my parents' for Labor Day weekend, and my sister and I visited a local orchard to load up for the visit. We ate just about as much as our bellies would hold, and I brought as many as I could back to Ohio in my carry on luggage! There are several different varieties of muscadines, but our favorites are the bronze beauties called scuppernongs (or scupadines as we called them in our neck of the woods). I introduced my fiancĂ© to muscadines and scuppernongs when I returned from my trip, and he just hadn't realized what he'd been missing!

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If you live in the south, I recommend getting out now and picking! Check out local U-Pick orchards near you at http://www.pickyourown.org/. I have lived in a few different states and I always refer back to this site for local seasonal picking of all different kinds of fruit and veggies. Grapevine species are in season now all over the country, and apples and pumpkins will be ripe in late September and October.

 

A couple of recipe links I found for things to do with muscadines:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/muscadine-jelly

http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/8-fruit-filled-fall-tart-recipes/fruit-tart-recipes-muscadine-pudding-tarts

 

Photos taken at Reese Orchard in Starkville, MS    https://www.facebook.com/ReeseOrchard/

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