Definitions

raisin ranch

Raisin

[rey-zin]

Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world, such as the United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Greece, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Togo, and Jamaica, as well as South Africa and Southern and Eastern Europe. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking and baking.

Etymology

The word raisin dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; in Old French and French, raisin means "grape," while, in French, a dried grape is referred to as a raisin sec, or "dry grape." The Old French word in turn developed from the Latin word racemus, "a bunch of grapes." The origin of the Latin word is unclear.

Varieties

Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used. Seedless varieties include Thompson Seedless (Sultana) and Flame. Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be "water-dipped," or dehydrated. "Golden raisins" are made from Thompsons, treated with Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) , and flame dried to give them their characteristic color. A particular variety of seedless grape, the Black Corinth, is also sun dried to produce Zante currants, mini raisins that are much darker in color and have a tart, tangy flavour. Several varieties of raisins are produced in Asia and, in the West, are only available at ethnic specialty grocers. Green raisins are produced in Iran. Raisins have a variety of colors (green, black, blue, purple, yellow) and sizes.

Regional variations

In the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, the word raisin is reserved for the dried large dark grape, with sultana being a dried large white grape, and currant being a dried small Black Corinth grape.

Nutritional value

Raisins are about 60% sugars by weight, most of which is fructose. Raisins are also high in antioxidants, and are comparable to prunes and apricots in this regard.

Sweetness

Raisins are sweet due to their high concentration of sugars. If they are stored for a long period, the sugar inside the fruit crystallizes. This makes the fruit gritty, but does not affect its usability. To de-crystalize raisins, they can be soaked in liquid (alcohol, fruit juice, or boiling water) for a short period, dissolving the sugar.

See also

References

  • {{cite conference | author=C. D. Wu, J. F. Rivero-Cruz, M. Zhu, B. Su, A. D. Kinghorn | title=Antimicrobial Phytochemicals in Thompson Seedless Raisins (Vitis vinifera L.) Inhibit Dental Plaque Bacteria

| booktitle=American Society for Microbiology meeting. June 5–9. Atlanta | year=2005 | pages= |url=http://www.abstractsonline.com/viewer/viewAbstractPrintFriendly.asp?CKey={F2F471D3-4975-4531-91A3-99EF6E664CEC}&SKey={A60C59D2-2740-438F-8EDB-FBCA9A4ED3C2}&MKey={382D7E47-BE0B-4BBA-B3A6-E511C92FA999}&AKey={32093528-52DC-4EBE-9D80-29DAD84C92CE} }}

External links

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