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Skinning grapes 2009/7/10 13:35
Hi there,

I'm wondering why Japanese people take the skin off grapes before they eat them? In fact they seem to do this to all fruits. Is this a texture thing - i.e. they find the skin tough, or is it because that super-sweet flavour is only achieved with liberal applications of chemicals which make the skins harmful to eat?!


by Phin (guest)  

fruit skin 2009/7/10 14:09
Its generally a taste and texture thing. Specifically with grapes the skin is thick, tough, and slightly bitter.

Same with many other fruits, people just skip the skin and go straight for the juicy goodness. While other fruit such as nashi have rather unedible skin.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Big and thick 2009/7/10 14:44
Can't speak for the rest of the world, but compared to grapes in Australia, Japanese ones are much bigger and have a lot thicker skin.

The skins are thus chewy and somewhat bitter. Plus the size of them makes peeling easy.

If they were to try to peel small Aussie ones with delicate skin they'd be there all day. :)
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

Cool 2009/7/10 15:34
We had grapes for lunch today (hence my asking) and they were small (1cm diameter approx) and the skin was soft. Everyone else popped them out of their skin, and I did the same cuz I didn't want to be the weird gaijin (my blue eyes do a good enough job of that thankyouverymuch) but next time I won't bother - as long as I won't be struck down by some pesticide contamination ;)
by Phin (guest) rate this post as useful

never occured to them 2009/7/10 18:47
The Japanese say, "I'm wondering why non-Japanese people don't take the skin off grapes and other fruits before they eat them." It simply doesn't occur to them that it doesn't need skinning.

I'm one of the rare, or perhaps I'd just say the more modern, Japanese people who ate the skin from the very beginning and my grannys were simply shocked.

Why don't non-Japanese people eat raw fish? Or whay don't they eat fish heads? They're edible, and they're tasty, and many non-Japanese do in fact enjoy them...Something like that.

I guess you need some getting used to. But actually, another reason we peal fruits is to avoid any agricultural chemicals left on the surface.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Ahh 2009/7/10 20:48
Hi Uco. Agricultural chemicals are what I was mainly worried about. I quite like the bitterness from the grape skins - off-sets the sweetness a bit. Japanese fruits are SO perfect though that I figured they must use a lot of chemicals. The grapes taste like ぶどう candy - I've never had anything like them! And in the supermarket although they are expensive, they look so perfect! Do you think the chemicals are bad for your health? Wouldn't they sink into the flesh anyhow?!
by Phin (guest) rate this post as useful

Phin 2009/7/10 21:12
Do you think the chemicals are bad for your health?

Needless to say, it depends on what you believe. Surely, the Health Ministration makes sure that chemicals are used only within the amount and timing that wouldn't affect your health, and imported fruits are to strictly follow Japanese import regulations.

But some people think you never know for sure what is good and what isn't. That's why every country has organic products and certain fair trade products. It's up to the person to choose what to eat and the way to eat it. Personally, I try to buy organic fruits and eat the skin.

Actually, another thing is that, for example, things like strings of banana peal or tangarine peal were believed to be bad for your digestion. This was probably true back in the days when the Japanese in general couldn't get enough nutrition to keep their bodies healthy enough. But nowadays, as far as health is concerned, the main concern is the chemicals.

Also just so that you'd know, one of the reasons Japanese fruits look perfect is because they handled with extra care. A lot of man-power goes into the orchards and many ill-shaped ones are sorted away, which is also the reason for the high prices of these fruits. So at least it's not the chemicals that are making them perfect.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/10 22:52
I agree Japanese grapes tend to have thicker skins and they easily separate from the pulps, while thin skinned kinds are almost impossible to remove but nice, sweet texture and taste.

I also agree with Uco. Japanese fruits are handled with extra care, and that's why they have the perfect appearences. It is not because of the chemicals. The USA still allows more harsh chemicals that European countries and Japan have banned.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Grapes and so on 2009/7/13 13:21
Guess it's also part how you grow up. Most Japanese even just spit out the skin of the grapes in a more or less acceptable way. When I showed my friends that I eat the whole thing and explained to them that most of the vitamins are in the skin and that it is also good for your "daily toilet walk", some of them changed their habit - no, not the toilet walk but eating the whole fruit as it is.
by kulachan rate this post as useful

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