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Lodi’s forgotten fruit: Flame Tokays

Once-popular grape now obscure; few vines remain for the picking

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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 12:00 am

The reddish-yellow orbs were once a cash crop for Lodi, but now are nearly forgotten. The Flame Tokay grape is a seeded table grape that features a crisp skin and full, fruity flavor. It was widely popular in vineyards around town in the early 1900s, but as consumers’ tastes for seedless grapes grew, the Flame Tokay’s demand basically fell off a cliff. The crop is so obscure now that San Joaquin County’s Agricultural Commissioner’s office doesn’t even track how many acres of the crop are grown.

“There are a few (Flame) Tokays around town, but we have next to no information about them,” said Gary Stockel, assistant agricultural commissioner for the county.

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