It was cool under my granddaddy’s scuppernong arbor. We didn’t have air-conditioning back then. But the return of school would usually bring on the first hint of a cool snap. And with sweet scuppernongs hanging everywhere, it was heaven under there.If you’re a Deep South native, chances are good you have muscadine memories yourself. Generations of Georgians have considered these special grapes one of the best things about the coming of fall.The distinctive flavor of muscadines seems to hint of the years they’ve had to mellow. People were enjoying them in the South long before the first European settlers arrived.Nowadays, people can take their backyard muscadines inside and eat them in cool, modern comfort. And the grapes are more often grown on more efficient trellises.Many More Choices NowWe have many more choices now, too. My granddaddy had the scuppernongs and a trellis of black muscadines. He called the black ones bullaces. I grew up thinking the black ones were bullaces and the bronze ones scuppanons. (We left off the “g” and never really pronounced the “er.”)In the 50 years since then, plant breeders have given muscadine lovers a rainbow of choices in shades of red, bronze, purple and black.All have attributes better than the original, two-centuries-old scuppernong, the first cultivated variety of the native wild grapes. Some of the new muscadine grapes are seedless. Some have more edible skins. Nearly all are sweeter and bigger.”Muscadines today are bigger than a quarter and sinfully sweet,” said Gerard Krewer, an Extension Service horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Sweet So Many WaysAmong the dozens of varieties, some are fresh-fruit favorites. Others are noted for their sweet dessert wines. Many others are wonderful in cider, jellies, preserves and syrups.Georgia has 1,000 acres of commercial muscadine vineyards, most for fresh-market grapes. Krewer figures at least twice that many grow in the state’s backyards.The grapes usually begin ripening in early August in extreme south Georgia. The harvest then moves northward and extends into mid-fall, Krewer said. The sweet, mellow grapes grow everywhere in the state except in the high mountains.Good For You, TooMy granddaddy lived to 90 years old in a time when the life expectancy was around 65. Eating all those muscadines may have helped him live so long.”Research is showing that muscadines are one of nature’s most healthful foods,” Krewer said.Studies at Mississippi State University, he said, found that muscadines are richer in fiber, zinc, manganese, iron and calcium than most other fruits.Later research found that they are one of the world’s richest sources of ellagic acid, which is thought to help prevent cancer, and of resveratrol, which a University of North Carolina medical researcher found to be a potent anticancer compound.Muscadines in SpotlightMuscadines will be in the spotlight when the Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga., hosts the 2001 Georgia/South Carolina Muscadine Meeting and Field Day Sept. 28.The event starts at 9 a.m. and includes lunch and a taste panel of muscadine cultivars. It ends with a 2 p.m. tour of the Experiment Station’s vineyards. Granddaddy would have loved it.The fee is $25 until Sept. 21 and $30 after that. Couples may attend for $40 (if preregistered by Sept. 21). To sign up, get a registration form at the nearest county extension office. Or call (770) 229-3477.
That killer instinct, of course, would probably have been there had Gareth Bale been here, but the star forward was sunning himself in Marbella instead. Without him, Tottenham were impressive, but only in patches. Soldado took his spot-kick well while a pair of bruising performances from Etienne Capoue and Paulinho stifled Swansea’s creativity. Tottenham should have had the chance to bury the game in the first half but referee Neil Swarbrick failed to give what looked to be a clear penalty following a foul by Jonjo Shelvey on Andros Townsend. Despite having to go through a 4,500-mile round trip to Georgia in midweek, Spurs pressed from the kick-off. Swansea had little time on the ball, but the hosts had to resort to long-range shots as Ashley Williams kept Soldado quiet. Paulinho drove in to Vorm’s arms from long range and Capoue did the same from a similar angle. Vorm looked on nervously as Nacer Chadli’s wicked free-kick flew a foot over the bar and Spurs then almost grabbed the lead thanks to a mistake from Williams. Press Association Roberto Soldado took his tally to four goals in three games as Tottenham maintained their 100 per cent record with a narrow 1-0 victory over Swansea. The Arsenal target rattled the frame of his own goal with a bullet header and Vorm did well to save the Paulinho’s follow-up from close range. Hugo Lloris had a quiet 25 minutes until the Spurs stopper was called in to action to save from Shelvey at the near post. It was all Spurs from then on. Paulinho strode past his marker but fired a low shot wastefully wide. Swansea could only clear Kyle Walker’s cross as far as Mousa Dembele, but Vorm pulled off an impressive acrobatic save to deny the Belgian. When Paulinho stabbed a volley inches wide of a half-open goal, Spurs fans groaned. It seemed nothing was going their way and that sense was only heightened when Swarbrick failed to award a penalty in the final minute of the first half. Shelvey bodychecked Townsend inside the penalty area, but the referee, after consulting with his flagging assistant, gave a free-kick a yard outside the box instead. One possibility was that the linesman had flagged for a nudge by Wayne Routledge on Townsend just before he entered the box. Michael Dawson put in a crucial tackle to deny Michu after the break, but the home side were still well on top. Townsend cracked a fizzing half-volley just over the bar soon after as Tottenham continued to lay siege to the Swansea box. The pressure paid off as Tottenham won a penalty in controversial circumstances. Townsend’s trickery allowed him to enter the Swansea box and he fell to the floor after little, if any, contact from Shelvey. Swarbrick paused before pointing to the spot and Soldado made no mistake, slotting the ball to Vorm’s right-hand side to make it 1-0. Swans boss Michael Laudrup brought on striker Wilfried Bony and the Swans came back in to the match briefly. Pablo Hernandez won a yard of space just outside the box after a weak header from Dawson, but his curling effort flew a yard wide. Lloris then pulled off a stunning save to stop a powerful volley from Chico Flores. Andre Villas-Boas brought Sandro on to shore up the Spurs midfield, while Soldado received a big round of applause as he departed for Jermain Defoe. Paulinho had a chance to kill the game off in injury time, but he ploughed a shot over the bar after first drawing a good save from Vorm. The £26million record signing scored the winning goal from the penalty spot for the second week running. Tottenham dominated the game, but a killer instinct was lacking at times and Michel Vorm also pulled off a couple of top saves in the Swansea goal.