In John Steinbeck’s classic 1938 novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” Depression Dust Bowl refugees from Oklahoma plant seeds of a new life in California.
In David Cain’s 2013 grapes of innovation, he plants a taste of cotton candy in California.
According to Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, Mr. Cain, a cutting-edge fruit breeder, has developed a “cotton candy grape” of green hue that “triggers the unmistakable sensation of eating a puffy, pink ball of spun sugar.”
To satisfy public demand.
As Mr. Cain put it: “We’re competing against candy bars and cookies.”
The Times reported: “Breeding and branding have become almost as valuable to farmers as sun and soil. Producers are constantly tinkering, hoping to come up with the next Cuties Clementine orange or Honeycrisp apple — distinct products that stand out in the crowded fruit aisle.”
Here in South Carolina, our fruit aisles are filled with more basic home-grown delights, including savory peaches, melons, apples and assorted berries.
Out in the Golden State, though, fruit growers seem to stretch for more exotic products. And Mr. Cain’s company has already come up with such purple-grape variations as “Sweet Sapphires,” which are flat and round, and “Flat Fingers,” which are long and thin.
Now if more Americans would eat more fruit of natural sweetness, and less candy packed with processed sugar, our populace would be thinner, too.