Back in 1584, European seafarers first set foot on the shores of what today is known as Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
Named after the Roanoke Algonquian people who inhabited the area, this fertile haven was home to a wide variety of wildlife never seen before by Europeans.
One specimen which particularly interested those early seafarers was a wild, vine-like plant which bore purple fruits.
The skin was tough, like a berry. But the inside had flesh and pips, like grapes.
Is the muscadine a grape … or a berry?
Of course, ancient mariners already had some notion of the healthy effects of fruits.
As far back as 1497, the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama gave his sailors citrus juice as protection from scurvy … a vitamin-deficiency illness which greatly affected sailors at that time.
But those original visitors to North Carolina could have had no idea of the healthy molecules which lay hidden in the muscadine fruit they had found. It would take scientists some 500 years to unlock that particular mystery.
All those original sailors knew was that the muscadine seemed like a cross between a berry and grape.
So, which is it? Well, the muscadine looks like a grape. And today’s muscadines are grown in vineyards and produce delicious wines. But, technically speaking, it is actually a berry.
And now scientists are finding that this unique, all American plant has the healthy molecules of both grapes and berries. In fact many people who are interested in natural health refer to the muscadine as a ‘superfruit’.
Next up. Read 'The Ten Health Benefits of Muscadine Grapes'. You'll be amazed at what muscadines offer.