Our company takes great pride in being native New Englanders, so we searched for a name that was unmistakably New England.
It wasn’t long before the answer became clear.
Fox Grape Catering was the obvious choice.
A rare New England native, virtually all parts of the Fox Grape, (Vitis Labrusca) are edible. Best after our first frost (when the sugars in the grape berries becomes intensified), the fruit can be made into pies, jams, conserves and even full bodied wines and vinegars. The light acidic notes of the young leaves can be cooked like greens or wrapped around other foods and baked. The young tendrils can be eaten raw or cooked, and the sap, best harvested in the spring or early summer, has a sweet flavor that makes a pleasant drink. Even oil, extracted from the seeds, can be used in cooking. The leaves, tendrils and sap have been used
medicinally for centuries.
The Fox Grape is tough and robust. It can handily survive our cold winters and hot humid summers, while still producing delicate grape berries. During the autumn months their sweet and characteristically “foxy” fragrance (like that of grape jelly) hangs in the air. Fox Grapes can be found in woodlands throughout New England and can be surprisingly easy to find. If you regularly hike, you’ve likely passed their high climbing vines or breathed their foxy musk in early fall. In contrast to the European wine grape the Fox Grape has a "slip-skin" that allows the skin of the grape berries to easily slip off when squeezed,
instead of crushing the pulp.
Fox Grape was probably the species seen by Leif Ericsson growing wild along the coast of Vinland (coastal North America and Newfoundland) in the 11th century. There is ample evidence that the labrusca was growing wild in North America before Europeans arrived. Ephraim Bull of Concord, Massachusetts, cultivated seeds from our wild fox grape vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States.
The Fox Grape is our grape. Like New Englanders, they are strong, resilient, hearty and tenacious while remaining uncompromisingly sweet, refined and entirely unpretentious.