Monday, June 13, 2005


Some of you frequent readers might think that I spend my free time wandering the aisles of Wal-Mart, looking for new and unusual products. I assure you that's not the case (my social life is not quite that pathetic), but lately in the course of picking up household necessities, I keep running across strange stuff.

First, there was the puzzling discovery of microwave pork rinds, which I mentioned in an earlier post.

Now, I was shopping for apples (Cameos are my favorite) when I came across this interesting display:

As the slogan on the package says, a Grapple is something that "looks like an apple, tastes like a grape." I guess they combined the names of "grape" and "apple," in that order, to get the name. If they'd done it in the opposite order, the new product would have been "Ape," which is probably not something you want to encourage eating.

Now, how can a grape look like and feel like an apple? What exactly is a Grapple? To find out, I visited the Grapple web site as well as a few other sites talking about this amazing and exciting new concoction.

From these sites, I learned that this product is not pronounced like "Grapple" (the verb meaning to contend with), but like "GRAY-pull." And I also learned just what a Grapple is -- nothing more than a Washington apple, minding its business, which is suddenly violated by being soaked in grape juice.

Most of the sites I visited had the same question I did -- Why? Was there a big need for this product, or any need at all?

I picture a focus group somewhere inside the headquarters of a huge apple-growing conglomerate in Washington State. A nervous little man answering an interviewer's questions replies, "Well, you see, I like the size and texture of apples, but I'm not so hot on the taste. And I like the taste of grapes, but I have to eat lots of them to get filled up, and they're so soft and squishy I can't carry them around easily in my pockets. Can you please help?"

Go ahead, enjoy your Grapples. I'll stick with the original articles, thank you, but who am I to begrudge anyone a new food? And I'll wait with breathless anticipation to see what wonderful new products will fill the shelves at Wal-Mart soon.

Quote of the day:

"I never feel lonely in the kitchen. Food is very friendly."

--Julia Child

1 comment:

Stacy said...

I bought some of those a few months back and none of us were impressed. It had the taste of immitation grape flavored candy, like a Jolly Rancher or something. Not worth the $$$.