By Cynthia Nelson/Images© Cynthia Nelson
It’s A Matter of ‘Grapes’
Currants and raisins are both dried grapes. The difference is in their size and the types of grapes used.
Currants are dried, seedless Zante grape. Currants got their name from its place of origin – Corinth, Greece. They can be used interchangeably with raisins in almost all recipes but unlike grapes, currants are mostly used in baked goods.
Raisins are made from three varieties of grape – Thompson seedless, Zante and Muscat. The grapes are dried using two methods – sun drying and mechanical dehydration.
Raisins come in two varieties – dark and golden. Golden raisins are also made from Thompson seedless grapes. The difference between dark and golden raisins is that they are dried and processed. The dark raisins are sun-dried for several weeks and that results in the signature, shriveled appearance and dark colour. On the other hand, golden raisins are treated with a chemical that prevents them from darkening in colour. Unlike dark raisins that are dried in the sun, golden raisins are dried with artificial heat, that’s why they always look plumper.
Storing Currants and Raisins
- Both currants and raisins can be stored at room temperature if they are tightly wrapped. For prolonged storage like up to a year, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- When using raisins or currants that have been stored in the refrigerator, take them out 30 minutes before use so that they can come up to room temperature.
Plump up raisins by soaking them in rum or wine when baking sweet items, such as Coconut (sweet) bread, raisin loaves, buns etc.