Monday, 18 June 2012

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CURRANT, RAISIN AND SULTANA?





The term currants, raisins and sultanas are often used interchangeably, but what is the difference between them?  Are they similar, and can they be substituted for each other in recipes?

Raisins are dried grapes.  Common names for raisins include sultanas, currants and raisins.  The main difference between them is the variety of grape from which they originate.

Currants                                        
Currants are small, black raisins produced from the zante variety of grape.  They were first grown on the island of Corinth in Greece, from where their name derives.  They are the smallest of all the raisins and taste more tart than the others.

Sultanas
Sultanas are produced from the sultana grape, originally grown in Turkey.  

Commerically, sultanas are produced from Thompson seedless variety and darkened and dried in sunlight to produce raisins.  The grape can be treated with sulphur dioxide and heat to produce a moister, lighter coloured raisin sold as golden sultanas or golden raisins.  Sultanas are seedless, large berried and light yellow in colour.  They taste sweeter than other raisins.

Raisins
Raisins are any type of dried grape that is not a sultana or currant from the grape varieties detailed above.


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