It’s 1980, and yes, I’m wearing Izod. My dad has a consulting gig with a large hospital group in LA, and we’re on a flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Tray table down, window shades up, my folks are catching a cat nap while my sister and I flash through the rolling dial of canned and categorized airplane pop music. “Look!” I yell, pulling the plastic headphone tubes from my ears, “Take the plug out, and you can listen to the music through the holes in the armrests!” My sister and I cram our heads into our laps to get our ears against the armrests and crank it–keeping it real with the best that TWA has to offer–The Captain and Tennille’s greatest hits. We’re bobbing along to “Love will keep us together” and “Muskrat Love.” There is nothing like that section when the Captain gets crazy with his fingers and makes those muskrats talk in that late-70’s, early-synthesizer muskrat language – the babbling bubbles of electronic love. Oh, why was that flight only 7 & 1/2 hours long!
As the memory of that trip fades, two images still stand strong with me today: the first is that we stood behind Mel Blanc in the lost luggage line once we arrived in LA; it was great to hear the voice of Bugs Bunny asking where his suitcases were. I guess they went left at Albuquerque. Second is that Muskrat Love–those two crazy rodents Suzie and Sam have a place even in my adult life. Now every time I eat a Muscat grape or taste a wine made from Muscat, the Captain is right there–his synthesized muskrat pillow-talk bubbling along in the soundtrack in my mind.
Muscat grapes are one of the most ancient cultivated vines in the world, and many believe it to be the original vine that people used to make the first wines. It is native to the Mediterranean and parts of central Asia. These grapes were first harvested in China in the 2nd century B.C. In March and April, finding great local fruit is more difficult until summer. For those customers who receive our conventionally-grown fruit, these Muscat grapes come from the Southern Hemisphere so we can keep our mix exciting and tasty. These grapes look like a mix of green and light-red grapes grown together in a bunch. Their skins are a bit thicker than other table grapes, but the juice is smooth and sweet. They have a pleasantly earthy, even slightly musky taste that lingers in your mouth. Out of all the table grapes, I believe these taste the most like its wine product. Because of the softness of the skins, I recommend that you refrigerate them before eating as the cold will add a nice crisp snap.
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org