Wolf Grapes

Wolf Grapes are a species of deciduous shrubs which bear purplish-red, grape-sized berries at various points of the year. The berries are edible and have a tart and slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of goji berries mixed with elderberries. There are two main varieties of wolf grape: the bunch-bearing wolf grape and the vine-bearing wolf grape. The difference is largely in the number and size of berries produced. There is not a noticeable difference in flavor.

 

Fertile Soil and Some Seeds

Wolf grapes grow best in soil with moderate amounts of clay. They prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH level of around 6.2. Wolf grapes thrive in environments that provide at least a solid six hours of ultraviolet and visible light in a twenty-four hour period, although they can tolerate several days with no light at all, such as when there is one of Pardisa's mega-storms in the area. The pale pink flowers of the bush appear in both early spring and late summer, with the berries produced ripening in mid summer and early winter. Ultraviolet light is essential for the ripening of the berries, and the berries will rot without ever ripening if no ultraviolet light is provided. The seeds are oblong and flat in shape.

 

Yum!

Wolf grapes are often consumed as a dried fruit snack in Eden III and Paradisum. However, the trend has not taken off in the smaller cities, mostly due to their tartness which is considered unfavorable. These berries are extremely healthy due to their high amounts of nutrients which are essential to human life. Bunch-bearing wolf grapes have proven to be more popular for cooking, but the vine-bearing variety is more popular for use as a dried or fresh snack.

 

Some dishes wolf grapes are commonly used in are, in no particular order: tarts, pies, jams, jellies, and preserves.

   

Gross Booze

The fermentation process undertaken by wolf grapes make them largely unsuitable for alcohol production. The berries take on an extremely bitter flavor when fermented. This, when combined with the lengthy fermentation period to even produce alcohols, makes wolf grape-derived wines a rarity. They are sometimes produced for usage by high-end chefs in their cooking, although the wine has been said to impart no flavor to the final dishes of these chefs.

 

A Legend of the Pack

Even though wolves are no longer present in active memory, wolf grapes carry the tale of the fearsome predators who hunt in packs. Legend tells that these creatures gave rise to the wolf grape long ago by cross-breeding two types of berries. The wolves are said to have some level of sapience in these stories. A common antagonist in these tales is the bear, which eats all of the wolves' crops. These stories always end happily, with the wolf grapes turning out even larger than before.

Scientific Name
Lycium vitis
Geographic Distribution


Cover image: Set Blueprint Species Footprint Alien by Vertixico

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Grandmaster KajetanWrites
Kajetan Krakowiak-Świątnicki
7 Mar, 2021 19:20

Nice article. I wonder why the trend of eating them dried isn't popular in smaller cities. Do you mean werewolves by wolves? They seem like sapinet beings with being able to cross-breed two types of berries.

Check out the world of Veneficia
Feel free to check out my Shipwright Challenge entry
7 Mar, 2021 20:12

People have no clue that wolves were considered animals, and they aren't as popular in smaller cities primarily because they're extremely tart both fresh and dried. It's more of just a cultural preference that leans towards sweet or savory in the other cities.

⚝Aydan Nightshade⚝
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
20 Mar, 2021 22:14

Nice article Moon! I like how you give precise scientific details about the growth conditions of the berries. I now remember I commented on the pH value during the stream but I didn't caught all the other sections of the articles so I'm rereading it now.   You say that the plant produces berries at "at various points of the year." I'm wondering about the details of that? Is there like one fruit season in winter and one in summer? Or three seasons? Or do all the plants produce fruits at different moments?   "although they can tolerate several days with no light at all." I'm intrigued by that and I think you can give examples here. Like if the plants are grown indoor, if the sky is overcast for days – maybe a volcano eruptions that hide the sun? Although it's probably unlikely unless you have active volcanoes nearby.   "their high amounts of several nutrients" this feels rather vague when you were so precise before for the pH and UV. You could list the major vitamins it contains, basing that on real types of berries.   You could maybe give some examples of recipes/common dishes and a picture of something similar. Is it used in tarts? Cooked with meat?   I like the legend about where the name come from. I'm guessing that sentient wolves are common in your world, but you could add a tooltip here to explain that since you're going to get lots of new readers with the challenge.

21 Mar, 2021 03:02

Thanks for the commentary!

⚝Aydan Nightshade⚝
24 Mar, 2021 10:01

Hello, congratulations for this submission. I really liked the tone of your article! The fact that you explained the optimal soil and light conditions required for the plant to grow well, and that you mentioned how wolves disappeared really long ago, makes the entry feel like it is part of a highly artificialized world, with almost no nature left.   Is the grape used for fermentation as well? In the same fashion as modern grape is?

With love,   Pouaseuille.   I finally participated to The Costume Challenge: here's an entry if you like!
24 Mar, 2021 16:01

This grape tends to get really bitter when fermented, so it is not usually used for fermentation. I'll be sure to mention that in the next edit pass! Thank you for your comment!

⚝Aydan Nightshade⚝
26 Mar, 2021 13:58

I like the fact that the berries are named after wolves even though the people don't know what they are anymore. You also gave nice scientific approach to their growth. The article is still a bit short however, perhaps adding more on seed dispersal in the wild or how they are currently cultivated would be a nice additon?

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
26 Mar, 2021 14:03

I'll definitely try to add that stuff soon! I'm currently in the middle of writing a few other things, but I plan to update this article eventually.

⚝Aydan Nightshade⚝
17 Apr, 2021 13:34

These sound delicious! I'm now imagining a bakery that manages to use the tartness well, using a wolf as their logo.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
17 Apr, 2021 14:20

Oooh! That's a great idea! Thanks!

⚝Aydan Nightshade⚝
Grandmaster CoffeeQuills
CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
20 Apr, 2021 04:08

This was fun to read, thank you! Now I want to know more about these wolf grapes, such as texture, seed shapes, and what animals eat them in the while.