Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Pulpy Arabian Grape juice

For those in Bangalore, stalls advertising "Puply Arabian Grape Juice" are a common sight. They are either stalls or boards on existing shops where they advertise that such a product is available. This made me curious. For one, I did not know that grapes grew in Saudi Arabia - and second, even more surprising that India imported grapes from Saudi Arabia. That got me thinking about whether it is really feasible for someone to import grapes from Saudi and sell it in so many stores at a common mans level.

So, like a true internet fan, I googled for "grapes cultivation in Saudi Arabia" and sure enough I found an FAO link - this one. I was surprised to see that grapes did grow in KSA - apart from the obvious dates, figs and such like. So, my first myth was demolished.


Here is a wikipedia entry on Grapes - India is among the top 10 producers of grapes.

Now the question was how much did India produce. I found an FAO link again which detailed Grapes cultivation in India.

The difference is 467 percent - about 6000 ha in SA and 34000 ha in India - it is presumably a little different now since those pages are slightly older. So, my question is a very simple. Why and how are we importing grapes into India from KSA - especially considering that as per FAO data in the second link, we consume nearly 85% fresh within the country itself? Are we really importing or is this a marketing gimmick?

Seems to be the latter - since a 2009 report shows that India does import grapes - one importer imported about a 100 odd tonnes of grapes (production is about 10,000 tonnes) which is a drop in the ocean of grapes here and those grapes came from California and not KSA. And if we indeed import grapes, clearly, these are super premium grapes the likes of which cannot be pulped and sold on the streets of Bangalore. In a gourmet setting, I can understand.

Therefore, I think that the said Arabian pulpy grape juice is Indian pulpy grape juice. Either way, grapes are good, but dont let people charge you a premium with a phoren name tag and lots of local sugar.

8 comments:

Naren said...

Arabian grape juice is more like "Iranian Chai" of Hyderabad than "Darjeeling Tea"

Jesu Dominic said...

If I'm not mistaken, the first few shops were using imported packed pulp. I presumed it must have been a common thing for Haj Pilgrims in Saudi. Then the trend caught on and as you say, now its just watery juice from Indian grapes.

deepak said...

arabian grapde juice just means an arabian style preparation. not that the contents are imported from KSA. much like sharjah shake is not imported from sharjah.

ecophilo said...

Like the Ajj (sic) and Muscoth (sic) halwa in TN I guess...

Saravanan.A said...

Those are some cool facts! I agree with Deepak, it should be the style (maybe).

Mr. B said...

Had the same query as ecophilo and found this blog withn google's first result.. Its feels good to know that someone had the same doubt and searched the way as me, before I did..

Nice post, Thanks.

Mr. B said...

It feels good to know that someone had the same doubt and searched the same way as we did.. But am a bit lucky to find this blog within first few results by google..

Nice post. Thanks.

Dilip Reddy said...

Yes... As mentioned by Deepak... This Juice is Just made in Arabian style. Nothing great about it but for sure the taste is really Awesome. I personally like it a lot than the regular grape juice.