Let nobody doubt my spirit of adventure as I have recently stepped outside of my fruit box to experience my first grapple - and I love it! It looks like an apple but it doesn't taste like an apple.

Although grapples have been around for about four years, they are new to me. I asked a number of my coworkers if they knew about grapples and they were clueless, so I figure there are probably a lot more people in the Grand Valley who are grapple virgins.

Quite simply, a grapple, pronounced GRAY-pul, is an apple that tastes like a grape. I saw them for the first time the other day at the grocery store. I was intrigued and had to buy a package of four. Initially, I thought this must be the result of some bizarre and revolutionary cross-pollinating fruit-breeding process.

Some people say they smell like grape soda. I say they smell and taste like grape Kool-Aid. Turns out, there's a good reason for that.

After doing a little research, I discovered that grapples are not made by crossing grapes with apples, but rather by simply dunking the apples in a mixture of grape flavoring, the same flavoring found in chewing gum and Kool-aid. The mixture seeps through the apple skin and flavors the apple.

The grape flavoring is called Methyl Anthranilate which sounds like something you should be adding to a tank of gas for better fuel efficiency. It is actually classified as an additive but is USDA and FDA approved and not any more dangerous than sugar or salt.

So, what about the taste? Yes, I love it!

I do eat apples, but I don't necessarily love the flavor of apples. The grape flavoring makes me forget the fact that I am eating an apple and takes me back to the day when grape Kool-aid was a regular part of my diet.

If you love apples,  you might be disappointed in the grapple, but if you are like me and not a red apple's biggest fan, you are likely to find the grapple most delightful. Good luck finding them, though. I went back to the grocery store to get more grapples - and there were none to be found.