Daily Archives: May 4, 2009

Fruit Of The Week GRAPE


A grape is the non – climacteric Fruit, botanically a true berry that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or used For making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, and wine, grape seed extracts, raisins and grape seed oil. Grapes are also used in some kinds of candy.


Grapes grow in clusters of 6 o 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green and pink. “White” grapes are actually green in colour, and are evolutionarily derived From the red grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocnins which are responsible For the colour of red grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the large Family of polyphenols in red grapes are responsible For the varying shades of purple in red wines.


Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics show the cultivation of grapes. Scholars believe that ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans also grew grapes both For eating and wine production. Later, the growing of grapes spread to Europe, North Africa, and eventually to the united states. Native grapes in North America grew along streams; however, the First cultivated grapes in California were grown by Spanish Franciscan Friars looking to make a sacramental wine For the California Missions. The First table grape vineyard in California is credited to an early settler by the name of William Wolfskill in Los Angeles Area. As more settlers came to California, more and more varieties of European grapes were introduced, some For wine-making, others For raisins and some For eating Fresh.

Today in the United States, approximately 98% of commercially grown table grapes are From California (California Table Grape Commission).

Distribution And Production

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 75, 866 square kilometres of the world are dedicated to grapes. Approximately 71% of world grape production is used For wine, 27% as Fresh Fruit, and 2% as dried Fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted For Fruits canned “with no added sugar” and “100% natural”. The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year.


You can Find number of Grapes recipes in Ayesha’s Kitchen under the category of “Grapes”.

Vegetable Of The Week ONION


Onion is a term used For many plants in the genus Allium. They are known by the common name “onion” but, used without qualifiers; it usually refers to Allium cepa. Allium cepa is also known as the “garden onion” or “bulb” onion.

They are called “pyaj” in hindi, “pyaaz” in Urdu and “kanda” in Punjabi. Onions are part of the Lily Family. There are many varieties of onions. There are 2 main groups of onions, dried r green.


Onions, one of the oldest vegetables known to humankind, are Found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world’s cultures. They are nowadays available in Fresh, Frozen, canned, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated Forms. Onions can be used, usually chopped or sliced, in almost every type of Food including cooked Foods and tge Fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. They are rarely eaten on their own but usually act as accompaniment to the main course. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy and pungent or mild and sweet.

Onions pickled in vinegar are eaten as a snack. These are often served as a side serving in Fish and chip shops throughout the United Kingdom and are referred to simply as “pickled onions”. Onions are widely – used in India/ Pakistan and are Fundamental in the local cuisine. They are commonly used as a side dish. Onins are called “erulli/ulla gaddi” in Kannada “vulli payalu” in telugu and “kanda” in Marathi.

Tissue From onions is Frequently used in science education to demonstrate microscope usage., because they have particularly large cells which are readily observed even at low magnifications.

Medicinal Properties And Health Effects

Wide – ranging claims have been made For the effectiveness of onions against conditions ranging From the common cold to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other diseases. They contain chemical compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, anticholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties such as quercetin. However, it has not been conclusively demonstrated that increased consumption of onions is directly linked to health benefits. Some studies have shown that increased consumption of onions reduces the risk of onions reduces the risk of head and neck cancers. In India some sects dont eat onion due to its alleged aphrodisiac properties.

In many parts of the world, onions are used to heal bristers and boils. A traditional Maltese remedy For Sea Urchin wounds is to tie half a baked onion to the afflicted area overnight. In the morning, the spikes will be in the onion. In the United States, products that ontain extract are used in the treatment of topuical scars; some studies have Found their action to be ineffective, while others Found that they may act as an anti – inflammatory or bacteriostatic and can improve collagen organization in rabbits.

Onions may be especially beneficial For women, who are at increased risk For osteoporosis as they go through menopause, by destroying ostoaclasts so that they do no break down bone.

An American chemist has stated that the pleiomeric chemicals in onions have the potential to alleviate or prevent sore throat.

Shallots have the most phenols, six times the amount Found in Vidalia onion, the variety with the lowest phenolic content. Shallots also have the most antioxidant activity, Followed by Western Yellow, pungent yellow, Northern Red, Mexico, Empire Sweet, Western White, Peruvian Sweet, Texas 1015, Imperial Valley Sweet, and Vidalia. Western yellow onions have the most Flavonoids, eleven times the amount Found in Western White, the variety with the lowest Flavonoids content.

For all varieties of onions, the more phenols and Flavonoids they contain, the most antioxidant and anti – cancer activity they provide. When tested against liver and colon cancer cells, Western Yellow, pungent yellow and shallots were most effective in inhibiting their growth. The milder-tasting varieties  – western white, Peruvian sweet, empire sweet, Mexico, Texas 1015, imperial valley sweet, and Vidalia – showed little cancer – Fighting ability.

Shallots and ten other onion varieties commonly available in the United States were evaluated: western yellow, northern red, pungent yellow, western white, Peruvian sweet, empire sweet, Mexico, Texas 1015, imperial valley sweet, and Vidalia. In general, the most pungent onions delivered many times the benefits of their milder cousins.

Some species of onion are poisonous, especially the wild onion Allium canadense. Symptoms include anemia, Heinz bodies and death.


Ayesha’s Kitchen is the best centre For “onion” recipes and tips.