For Better Living: Scuppernogs, Muscadines, what’s the difference?
Sandra Cain Bladen County Cooperative Extension
Muscadines grapes are often referred to as scuppernongs. Muscadine is native to the Southeastern United States and has been cultured for more than 400 years. Native Americans preserved muscadines as dried fruit long before the Europeans inhabited this continent.
Muscadines, are about 1 1/2-inches in size and have a large, tough outer skin. They don’t grow in tight bunches like other grapes, but in clusters of 4 or more fruits. They’re commonly used in jams, jellies, wines, or any other recipes using grapes. Muscadines are commonly found in purple or black varieties.
The scuppernong is a greenish, or bronze, variety of muscadine. At first it was simply called the Big White Grape. During the 17th and 18th centuries cuttings of the mother vine were placed into production around Scuppernong, a small town in North Carolina. It was named for the Scuppernong River, which runs from Washington County to the Albemarle Sound in eastern North Carolina.
Today, even though improved bronze varieties such as Carlos and Magnolia have been developed for commercial plantings, most southerners still refer to any bronze Muscadines as Scuppernongs.
How to Eat a Muscadine
Scuppernongs, like all Muscadines, have thick skins and contain seeds. To eat a scuppernong hold the grape with the stem side up and squeeze the grape. The juicy pulp will squirt into your mouth. Be careful to spit out the seeds and discard the bitter skin.
To store Muscadines, keep them in a covered shallow container in the refrigerator for best results. Do not wash them until you are ready to use them. They will keep for up to a week depending upon their original condition, but are best if used within a few days. Inspect the grapes periodically and remove any rotting ones.
Scuppernongs are high in Vitamin C and contain potassium, Vitamin B, and trace minerals. They are naturally low in sodium and free of fat and cholesterol. When measuring, 2 cups of scuppernongs equals 3/4 pound. Each cup of grapes contains about 100 calories.
Muscadine/ Scuppernong Jelly
Measure 7 cups sugar and set aside.
Put 4 cups scuppernong or muscadine juice and 2 tsp. lemon juice in large saucepan.
Mix in 1 box pectin. Bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Add sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Skim off foam with metal spoon.
Pour at once into hot, prepared jars.
Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Yield: 8 Half-Pints
Muscadine Hull Pie
About 4 cups of Muscadine grapes
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 pie crusts
1. Separate hulls from pulp.
2. Heat pulp to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes
3. Press pulp through strainer to separate from seeds.
4. Discard seeds and mix hulls with pulp.
5. Mix flour with sugar and lemon juice and blend with hulls
6. Pour Muscadine mixture in pie crust, dot with butter, Cover
with second crust. Seal edges and slit top.
7. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
Crush thoroughly 3 pounds (about 9 cups or 4 pints) fully ripe scuppernongs.
Add 1 cup water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Strain through jelly bag or cheese cloth.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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