What Are Raisins?

A lot of people unfairly hate on raisins. I think it’s because people hate unexpectedly eating raisins. If you eat a raisin knowing you’re about to eat a raisin, then raisins are actually pretty good. But all too often people fall into the trap of thinking they’re picking up a chocolate chip cookie, about to enjoy its ooey gooey sweet chocolateness, but instead bite into an oatmeal raisin cookie. Well, yeah, raisins are going to suck if you’re expecting chocolate chips! Or when you’re at the cookout and you try your Aunt Bagonia’s potato salad only to find it filled with raisins. Raisins don’t belong in potato salad, Aunt Bogonia! 

If you buy one of those little boxes of raisins, are aware that you’re getting raisins, then eat a couple, you’ll find out that raisins are freaking delicious. But what is a raisin, exactly? What is in raisins? How are raisins made and do they go bad? Let’s answer all the raisin questions that people have been raisin (sorry)!

What are raisins?

So, what exactly are these wrinkly little things? Are the rumors true? Are raisins dried grapes? Yep! Raisins are dried grapes. It’s as simple as that. Raisins have been around for a long time. The Ancient Greeks and Romans decorated places of worship with raisins and they would give away raisins as a reward at sporting events. 

Appropriately, raisins are a popular snack for endurance athletes. Those little, bitty boxes of raisins are about 100 calories, and raisins are packed with fiber, iron, and antioxidants (as well as sugar for a quick boost of energy). 

How are raisins made?

Okay, so we know that raisins are just dried grapes, but is that it? What’s in raisins? How exactly do you make them? If you want to make the sort of raisins that come in the red boxes, first get some grapes. Any type of grapes can become raisins (red, black, or white, seeded or not), but these days, Thompson Seedless grapes are the most commonly used raisin grapes. Wash and dry your grapes of choice. Spread them out on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then bake them low and slow at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit for four to six hours. Voila, raisins! 

Do raisins go bad?

Raisins will eventually go bad. Store them in a cool dry place or your refrigerator and get rid of any that you haven’t eaten after around six months. And don’t feed those raisins to your pets! Raisins are bad for cat and dog kidneys. 
Besides just eating them by themselves, you can eat raisins in oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, salad, and baked goods. Just be sure to label any oatmeal raisin cookies properly so no one mistakes them for chocolate chip cookies. If that happens to me one more time, I am just going to lose it.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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