Raisin Varieties and TypesWhy are raisins labeled "seedless"? Aren't they all seedless? Yes and no.
The term "seedless" can be confusing unless you know the reasoning behind it. Seedless raisins are made from grapes with no seeds. Seeded raisins are made from grapes that normally have seeds, but from which the seeds have been removed before or after drying. The two are not generally interchangeable because the flavor is quite different.
Seeded raisins are more difficult to find than the common seedless variety carried on most market shelves, often only available during autumn and winter seasons for the holidays.
• Dark raisins: These are the most common variety found in markets, usually made from Thompson seedless grapes. Although they start as green grapes, the fruit naturally darkens as it dries.
• White or golden raisins: These are also called muscats and are generally made of white muscat grapes which are seeded, specially oven-dried (rather than by sun), and treated to retain their light color. Some golden raisins are dried Thompson seedless raisins which have been kept light in color by the use of sulfur dioxide.
• Sultanas: More popular in Europe, these raisins come from a seedless yellow grape and are usually softer and sweeter than other varieties. The American variety of sultana grape is the Thompson seedless.
• Currants: Although there is a gooseberry relative known as the currant, the dried currant raisin is actually made from Black Corinth grape called Zante. They are tiny, seedless, and very sweet but do bear a resemblance to the currant berry. The name confusion comes not only from the currant raisin's similar appearance to the currant berry, but also due to the similarity of the sounds of the fruit names, ie., currant sounds like Corinth, the variety of grape. Tiny dried currants are extremely sweet and aromatic.
More about Raisins:• Raisin Tips and Hints
• Raisin Varieties
• Raisin Selection and Storage
• What are raisins? Raisin History
• Raisin Recipes
Raisins and Grapes Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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