You don't have to be a backpacker or hiker to appreciate raisins as a convenient, high energy low fat snack; they are easy to pack, easy to eat and almost never go bad. Like other dried fruits, raisins are available throughout the year.
Raisins are made by dehydrating grapes in a process using the heat of the sun or a mechanical process of oven drying. Among the most popular types of raisins are Sultana, Malaga, Manuka, Zante Currant, Muscat and Thompson seedless. The size of small pebbles, raisins have wrinkled skins surrounding chewy flesh that tastes like a burst of sugary sweetness. While the colors of raisins vary, they are generally a deep brown color, oftentimes with hints of a purple hue.
Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used. Seedless varieties include the "Thompson Seedless” and Flame. Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be "water-dipped," or dehydrated. "Golden raisins" are made from "Thompson Seedless" variety, treated with Sulfur dioxide (SO2), and flame dried to give them their characteristic color.
Several varieties of raisins are produced in Asia and in the west, but in India, Maharashtra is the major state for raisin production. Green raisins are also produced in Maharashtra. Raisins have a variety of colors (green, black, purple and yellow) and different sizes. The same process use for Mahafruit raisins making at our processing plant.
History of Raisins :
It's probably safe to say that raisins were discovered by man the first time he found them accidentally dried out on the vine. But it took several hundreds of years before he determined which of the 8,000 varieties of grape genus would produce the best raisins.
In 1490 B.C. - History books first note raisins were sun-dried grapes. Between 120 and 900 B.C. , the first vineyards were developed. Muscat raisins, which are over sized with seeds and full of flavor, were grown in southern Spain. Farmers of Greece grew tiny, seedless, tangy raisins called currants.
11th century - Crusader knights first introduced raisins to Europe when they returned home from the Mediterranean. Packaging and shipping techniques were good enough to ship raisins throughout northern Europe.
14th century - Raisins became an important part of European cuisine. Spaniards perfected viticulture, or grape growing. Roman physicians prescribed raisins to cure anything from mushroom poisoning to old age. Eventually, they became so valuable that two jars of raisins could be traded for one slave!
Health Benefits of Raisins/Kishmish:
Raisins are irreplaceable as a healthy member of the dry fruits category. These golden, green or black delicacies are favorites of almost everyone, particularly children. They are widely used in cultural cooking around the world (especially in desserts), and are also added to health tonics, snacks and compact, high-energy food supplements for mountaineers, backpackers, and campers.
When ingested, raisins swell because the fiber present in them has shrunk in a raisin’s dried form, but it will begin to swell due to the body’s natural fluids. This adds bulk to the food moving through the intestinal tract and ultimately helps provide relief from constipation. The type of fiber in raisins is considered insoluble fiber, because it takes in water and gains volume in that way.