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  #1  
Old 02-07-2004, 11:17 PM
Fish Fish is offline
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Did anybody really used to peel grapes?

Peeled grapes have become a parody of indulgence for a Supreme Ruler. He lazily orders one of his scantily dressed cucumbers—er, concubines—to peel him a grape. Did any rulers in history actually do this, or is it a recent invention of writers and filmmakers?
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2004, 11:26 PM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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No idea, but I know I've done it for myself. Probably much more trouble than it's worth, but peeled grapes, man!. Cheap luxury for a boy frae the 'burbs.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2004, 12:26 AM
boofy_bloke boofy_bloke is offline
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It should be noted that grapes in the old days were not the high-quality specimens with 2000 years of dedicated breeding which we take for granted today. Grape skins were INCREDIBLY sour and quite thick, and grapes had SEEDS! Getting someone else to peel your grapes was not as odd a concept as we imagine.

Having said that, I have no experience of anyone doing it other than as a joke.
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2004, 03:11 AM
JejuLife JejuLife is offline
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Here in Korea, no one eats the skins of the grapes. The skin is very tough and it would take a long time to chew it well enough to swallow it. However, peeling would take forever. To eat a grape here, bite where the stem was. Don't bite completely through. Then, suck the insides out, squeeze the grape skin to get out all the juice, and discard the skin. As for the seeds, they are HUGE and easy to avoid. Just spit them on a plate in front of you. When I first came, I didn't know how to eat the grapes and I actually sat down once and PEELED a huge bunch of them. Felt really stupid when later I saw how Koreans eat them...so much simpler. Still, it's not considered a big deal to peel grapes...I've also seen people do that (rarely) ...usually for guests when the occasion is too formal to have everyone spitting seeds into a communal plate.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2004, 03:21 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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My brother and his wife peel grapes for their son.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2004, 04:36 AM
quiltguy154 quiltguy154 is offline
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OR, eat Concord grapes. Bite down easily on one of them, and they slip right out of the skin. You're left with what feels like a big, squishy snotball, but at least it's peeled. Trouble is, a lot of the distinctive Concord grape[ used to make the ubiquitous jelly]flavor, and all the color IS in the skin. So it's a toss-up. Try making the jelly at home, even if you don't succeed, your house will smell GREAT.
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2004, 06:42 AM
WotNot WotNot is offline
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Where’s Beulah when you need her?
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2004, 06:49 AM
gluteus maximus gluteus maximus is offline
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They peel 'em here, too. Same technique as JejuLife described. I don't peel 'em, because the peel's got most of the flavor. Just another barbarian trait to keep me from being assimilated.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2004, 08:38 AM
MC Master of Ceremonies MC Master of Ceremonies is offline
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I seem to remember that Debrett's etiquette says that grapes should be peeled before they're eaten (and should be cut from the stem with a pair of grape scissors).
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2004, 09:08 AM
Fish Fish is offline
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So basically, we're talking about different kinds of grapes where peeling is (was) essential. Anyone eating one would have had to peel it, and a Pompous Ruler could have had someone to do it for him, though so far there's no reason why we perpetuate this as the epitome of lazy luxury when many grapes we eat in America no longer need to be peeled.

I think I get it.
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2004, 09:27 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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For those who were whooshed by WotNot's apt line:

http://www.solango.com/vhs/Genres/Co...5/Im_No_Angel/
Quote:
In I'm No Angel, Mae West's second star vehicle, she's sideshow attraction Tira, "the girl who discovered you don't have to have feet to be a dancer." As usual, West wrote all her own dialogue for the film, and it's full of priceless wisecracks. A crowd of men ogles her as she tosses off a saucy little number, "They Call Me Sister Honky Tonk," swinging her hips phlegmatically. Then she slithers offstage, muttering "Suckers." Bored with life, Tira consults a fortuneteller. "I see a man in your future," he drones. "What, only one?" quips Mae. Tira wants to quit the carnival, so her boss (an unctuous Edward Arnold) makes her a proposition. If she'll become the show's lion tamer, she can meet "the swells." Just one little thing: she's got to put her head in the lion's mouth. (West insisted on performing this stunt herself, to the horror of Paramount Pictures' executives.) Enter Cary Grant as Jack Clayton, an aristocrat who falls for this floozie from the wrong side of the tracks. Some of the film's merriest scenes show Tira and her five black maids having a ball dancing and singing as she prepares for her dates with Jack. (West made it her business to keep as many of her black girlfriends working in movies as possible.) Tira's head maid, Beulah, played by Gertrude Michael, is the object of that momentous line "Oh, Beulah, peel me a grape." Mae slays 'em all in this picture, dressed, as always, in fabulously flamboyant finery. --Laura Mirsky
This is undoubtedly the source of the image in modern times.
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2004, 10:51 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Note that grapes are peeled en masse for several types of wines, esp. many whites. That way the vintners can avoid certain color and biterness issues. While cheapo wineries just crush the grapes and seive off the skins, modern tech methods are used to remove the skins with minimal crushing at the better operations.
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2004, 11:37 AM
universe.zip universe.zip is offline
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They are peeled in Spain for the New Year´s Eve tradition of swallowing twelve grapes, one with each chime of the clock. Pretty hard to eat 12 grapes that fast even if they´re peeled, almost impossible and slightly unpleasant if they´re not. It´s supposed to bring good luck if you swallow them all in time.
You can even purchase small cans of pre-peeled grapes around New Year for this very purpose.

So the King of Spain probably has someone to peel his grapes for him, if only on New Year´s Eve.
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2004, 11:55 AM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg
Note that grapes are peeled en masse for several types of wines, esp. many whites. That way the vintners can avoid certain color and biterness issues. While cheapo wineries just crush the grapes and seive off the skins, modern tech methods are used to remove the skins with minimal crushing at the better operations.
Gotta cite for this? I have done quite a bit of homebrewing and winemaking, they are pressed for the juice prior to fermentation and only the juice is used.
Its only about a billion times more efficent than trying to peel them. IF some skin is desired, they can just toss in some of the leftover skins. Red wines are usually allowed to ferment with the skins to get more of the tannin out for the bitter edge we expect from a red but they are still pressed in large scale operations.

My boss worked for a christian brothers winery for 14 years and confirmed my suspicions.

I know that commercial winemaking is a much different animal than home production but I have a hard time wrapping my brain around skinning grapes literally by the ton and turning a profit.
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2004, 12:00 PM
WotNot WotNot is offline
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Nothing further to add on the subject of grapes, but a couple of things in Exapno’s quote caught my attention:

Quote:
A crowd of men ogles her as she tosses off a saucy little number…
As she what now?

Quote:
…swinging her hips phlegmatically. Then she slithers offstage…
Slippery stuff, that phlegm
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2004, 07:31 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Heck, I peel concord grapes all the time. It's incredibly easy to do, and I sometimes prefer 'em that way. Besides, it's something that you have to do if you're making grape pie, a labor-intensive but wonderful dessert.

To peel a grape, you pull it from the bunch, then hold the grape between thumb and forefinger and squeeze. If you do it right, you split the skin when the grape used to be attached to the stem, and the pulp squirts out. You can shooty it right into your mount. If you do it wrong, you goosh the grape into messy pulp in the skin, and the juice gets all over your hand. Practice makes perfect!



Don't try this with seedless California grapes -- it won';t work.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2004, 08:32 AM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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I submit a genuine grape peeler....

http://fantes.com/images/20229peelers.jpg

It is usually preferable to peel a grape in some more haute kitchens and restaurants. They are useful for dishes where the overall texture or integrity would be influenced by the insidious grape peels.
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2004, 09:02 AM
glas onion glas onion is offline
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I peel my grapes bvefore I eat them. All the time.

I might look into getting a concubine to do it for me though!
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2004, 12:42 PM
Fish Fish is offline
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Thanks, Exapno. I think the I'm No Angel reference is the one I was looking for. Heck, there was a hedonistic grape-peeling reference in Terry Pratchett's Pyramids and another as a host segment in MST3K's Hercules Unchained. I figured those guys got the image from somewhere. Thanks!
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