Grape Flavour?

My sister has just returned from America and she brought me back some saltwater taffy. After tasting and then spitting out in disgust I had to ask what flavour the purple ones could be, only to be told that it would probably be grape.
Which leads me to ask this question:
Are blackcurrants not popular in America or is there a reason why your purple sweets are grape?

No, there are not a lot of blackcurrant anythings in America. The thing that surprised me the first time I went overseas as a kid was that purple wasn’t grape. That’s the default here. Red=Cherry, Green=Apple, and Purple=Grape.

Black currants aren’t very popular here.

More specifically, most grape flavored products here are Concord grape flavored. It’s that flavor that is often described in wine terms as ‘foxy.’

You don’t find black current anything in the stores. You can find red current jellies and red currents by the dried fruit. That’s about it, unless you look at a specialty wine.

Thanks for the info. I do feel sorry for you, blackcurrant’s easily the nicer flavour. I always save any purple sweets for last.
Here in Britain I would say the default was:
Red - Strawberry
Green - Lime
Purple - Blackcurrant

I can find some Black current candy sometimes, but I live in Los Angeles and they are generally black or VERY dark purple (almost black).

Grape flavord stuff doesn’t taste like grapes though. I never knew why. Also, it seems to me that green=lime more than apple. Although sometimes it is inexplicably watermelon flavored.

They look scary.

They taste like Concord grapes, which most people do not eat out of hand anymore. Concord grapes are native to the U.S., are a different species from most table grapes and have a very distinct flavor profile. Actually most of the flavor is in the skin, the flesh of concord grapes is actually pretty tasteless and has the consistency of a fisheye. I have 'em growing in my backyard and don’t like them.

In the U.S. grape candy, soda, juice and jam is almost inevitably concord-flavored.

Huh, I never knew that.

Well that explains why I like grapes but not grape flavored products. I would say that grape juice (which is the only product that I actually think of when you say concord grapes) does taste vaguely similar to grape candy.

Thankd SDMB!*
*specificaly Tamerlane

As someone who grew up eating (and loving) Concord grapes, I must vociferously disagree.

In most American “Grape” flavored candy and other treats, the “grape” flavor is wholly artificial. I don’t know what type of grape it’s supposed to be – it doesn’t coincide exactly with the taste of any variety I’m familiar with, be it Labrusca (which includes Concord – which is an engineered hybrid, not a naturally-occurring type – and Catawba, Niagra, Diamond, etc.) nor European vinifera grapes. It ain’t California seedless, either. It’s some weird amalgam that is none, or possibly all grapes.

Concord grapes are the ones that give the flavor to most American Grape Jelly and jam (although I’ve had other varietals in jelly and jam, but it was invariably homemade) and to purple American grape juice. (It’s also the taste of my Grape Pie, which it’s just about time for again).

But make no mistake – American “Grape” flavor is as far from Concord as it is from anything else.
I’ve never seen “blackcurrant” flavor anything is America, most especially candy. I’ve always wondered what the taste was like, since Horatio Hornblower, in C.S. Forester’s books, hates the stuff at the start of “Hornblower and the Atropos”, but leatns to like it by the end of the book, since he hasn’t any other preserves to eat.

I must repectfully, but firmly disagree with your vociferous disagreement :). No argument that artificial grape flavour is not that of genuine concord products, but I’m dead certain ( lacking any real evidence but my palate :wink: ) that the ubiquitous concord grape juice was the flavour profile being aimed for.

I do. It’s Concord.

I also grew up eating them (in New Jersey.) We had a pergola in the backyard and my neighbor across the street had a 2 acre vineyard.

Well, I gotta disagree with your disagreement. And psycat90, if there’s something in there that says they were shooting for Concord Grape (the long thing taklks about how they get Concord Grape for juices, jellies and jams, which I don’t dispute), It’s not obvious – and I ain’t searching for it.
This site says they just use ethyl butyrate, ethyl thiolactate, ethyl-3-hydroxy butyrate and furaneol (2,5-dimethyl -4-hydroxy-3(2H)-furanone.
I don’t know where they came by that information – most sites don’t list anything beyond “Artificial Grape Flavor”, and saying that it’s proprietary.

Concord Grapes get their foxiness from Methylanthranilat, according to thgis:

and this:

So if that formula’s on the level, they’re missing a key ingredient. It doesn’t prove that they weren’t “shooting” for it, but you’d think they’d use it if they were.

I happen to love artificial grape flavor (or “purple” flavor), but it doesn’t taste like anything else that’s supposedly concord grape flavored (jam, jelly, juice) and I’m hoping produced through somewhat more natural processes.

[Seinfeld]And what’s the deal with you Europeans and Gooseberries? They are neither a goose, nor a berry.[/Seinfeld]

But seriously, gooseberries are huge in Europe, but nary a bush to be found in America. Gooseberry Jam and Jellies, tarts, and confections all over in Germany.

I’m sure there is a bush or two over here but they don’t seem to have any footing against the bluberry, grape, strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry. Are they hard to grow in America?

Actually, I think the answer is probably because of indigenous plants. Purple flavor to me, locally and naturally would have to be Mulberries. I’ve never seen a Currant vine. Nothing like a sweet, juicy, black mulberry…I think they’re ten times better than Blackberries which are so popular, in the US. Alas, mulberriesare also an underappreciated fruit.

Same here! I love grapes, but find grape-flavored things to be repellent to the point of complete inedibility. I frequently stare agog as my fiancé eats peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches. I always thought that grape jelly was just something that low income area elementary schools foisted off on their kids, not something that actual adults who could afford alternatives would eat on purpose. My mind boggles. Grape flavored stuff goes straight in the trash for me. If I get some kind of candy that’s mixed flavors, and one of the flavors is grape, I’ll go through first and pull all the grape ones out and chuck 'em before I even start.

Never had a blackcurrant and have no idea what they are or what they taste like.

Black/red/whitecurrants and gooseberries are all species of Ribes. There are species native to North America - I’m not sure if their comparative lack of popularity in the US is more to do with aesthetics, chance, the availability of other fruits or what.

Damn, I hate the triple post… Sorry.

I think the answer also lies in the geography of saltwater taffy to some degree. Originating on the Jersey shore, it is a traditional Eastern Candy. Historically, the Eastern Seaboard of the US is the grape motherland, long preceding the West Coast in viticulture.

I hate those white, generic, grape flavored jellybeans that they put in the cheap Easter mix. It’s like a double whammy… the white tells you maybe black licorice, or even mint and you brace yourself…instead it’s the sickly sweet purple monster.

(You see, that’s a weird flavor-color combo there that corporate did to us, anybody else relate white to the black licorice flavor (anise)? Blame it on the food chemists.)