Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

grape the fruit of vines of the genus Vitis, has been celebrated as both food and the source of wine since antiquity. Wine, as such, is not within the scope of this Companion, although there is an entry for wine as an ingredient in cookery. The present entry deals principally with the history of the grape and the use of table grapes.

The outstanding grapevine is V. vinifera. In its original form it was indigenous to the area stretching from the south-east coast of the Black Sea around the south of the Caspian Sea to Afghanistan, and is still found there. Like its cultivated successors, the wild vine is a climbing plant which needs to grow up some support.