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|Thompson Seedless Grape
the grape most commonly used to "make" California raisins
Prior to 1876 all raisins came from grapes with seeds. Although raisins were fairly popular across the country, sales were limited to people who were willing to take the time to hand-separate the seeds from the raisins -- a very messy and time-consuming task. The only way for growers to increase their profits was to develop a seedless grape that would make a sweet, tasty raisin. In 1876 a Scottish immigrant living in the Northern Sacramento Valley did just that. William Thompson first introduced his light-colored, thin-skinned, seedless, sweet and very tasty grape (which he called the Lady deCoverly) at the Marysville (California) District Fair. Today, 95 per cent of the raisins produced in California are made from Thompson Seedless Grapes grown in the San Joaquin Valley.
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This page was last updated on 09/27/2017.