Lately at the grocery store the green grapes have been remarkably big — with lengths about 1.5”, or about the same as the diameter of a ping pong ball; and they are plump, shaped similar to a watermelon (much smaller of course); and they are tight — with tight skin, and the inside “meat” is firm and perky.
I remember being a kid in the 1970s and my parents getting excited over Thompson seedless grapes, at 1 to 2 grams per. But today’s grapes are so much bigger, it’s like comparing Arnold Schwarzenegger to his “twin brother” Danny DeVito in the 1988 comedy movie Twins (gImages).
I searched this and found this NPR article, We Like 'Em Big And Juicy: How Our Table Grapes Got So Fat, that describes some techniques — girdling of the phloem while keeping the xylem unimpeded, a practice dating at least as far back as Aristotle‘s successor, Theophrastus, and mentioned by Shakespeare; and hormone therapy with gibberellic acid; and Autumn King grapes.
10 grams each! Is there anything else going on here besides what’s mentioned in that article? That article is dated Mar 2013 so it’s getting close to six years old. There might be newer techniques.