Search fueled by grapes

Published 12:48 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2019

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Carrollton resident Bernadette Owens recently spent a morning on the hunt for grapes. 

Not just any grapes, mind you, but grapes that taste like cotton candy. 

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They are called, obviously, cotton candy grapes and are apparently so popular that the fruit doesn’t last long on the shelves. 

Packaged in a pink bag, the green grapes look like any other, but take a bite and one is taken back to childhood when it was actually enjoyable to nibble on a column of pink or blue spun sugar. 

The grape has all the taste and none of the sticky mess, said Heather Perdue, whose family recently reported snagging bags in three states — Virginia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. 

Owens and Perdue have a pact — whoever finds the cotton candy grapes will pick up several bags and split them with the other. 

That pact is what drove Owens to arrive at the Carrollton Food Lion one morning early enough to meet the produce truck. 

Alas, no cotton candy grapes that day, said Owens, adding that she was told that the store doesn’t know when they will arrive, as the grapes have a short season and limited distribution. 

The grower, Divine Flavor, is located in Arizona. Another grower, The Grapery, is in California. The grapes are a hybrid and both growers also produce other flavors, according to their websites. 

When Owens learned that the Carrollton Food Lion wasn’t getting any cotton candy grapes that day, she whipped out her cell phone and called the Smithfield store. 

They had them, said Owens. 

“I was speeding,” she said of her trip to Smithfield. 

When she arrived, Owens initially could not find the grapes in their signature pink bag. 

She had to ask the produce manager, who pointed to two bags tucked up on the top shelf, said Owens. 

Owens grabbed the two bags for herself and paid the sales price of $3.99 each. Usually the cotton candy grapes go for $4.99, she said.

“They’re expensive, but they’re worth it,” said Owens. 

Regular green seedless grapes typically go for $2.99 or $2.49, depending on if a customer has an MVP card at Food Lion. 

“When they hit the floor and people know what they are, they’re gone,” said Owens.