A raisin is a food obtained by drying grapes. It is a particular case of dried fruit.
The cultivation of the muscat vine and the production of raisins are traditional activities in the Marquesado de Dénia and the La Marina region, Alicante province.
The date of August 15 (Virgen de Agosto) is taken as the traditional date for the start of the activity. Currently the date is usually delayed until September, and even in October you can find raisins in the sun.
The Muslims, by their condition of teetotalers, used the grape only to raisin it.
1- What is a raisin?
– The dry grape , partially dehydrated, is called raisin .
– They can be eaten as a dessert or other preparations.
– There are various methods to make raisins , but the most important step is knowing how to choose the grape.
2- What type of grape can I use?
The variety par excellence and with the longest tradition that has always been used to make raisins is the Muscat of Alexandria . This is a variety that is used to make mistelas , for fresh consumption, as well as for raisins.
We will choose grapes of normal size, which are not excessively large.
Traditionally, seedless varieties have been used because there were no seedless varieties , but currently it is preferable to use seedless grape varieties .
Raisins can be made from red, white, and any variety of grapes, depending on taste and availability.
Although we can use any variety, the best grape varieties to make raisins are:
Red or red grapes:
- Flame Seedless, (sin pepita)
- Ruby Seedless (sin pepita)
- Autumn Royal (seedless)
- Alfonso Lavallee
- Crimson Seedless (sin pepita)
- Muscat of Alexandria
- Sultanina (sin nugget)
- Superior (seedless)
3- How are raisins made?
Steps to make the raisins:
- First we will wash the whole bunch , placing it under the tap.
- Then we will remove the grapes without removing their end (peduncle or vegetable part that joins the berry to the stem).
- Spread the grapes on mosquito nets, on trays or plates.
- Place them in an electric dehydrator (this can be an oven or microwave) or in a homemade solar dehydrator.
4- Desiccation by natural heat. Raisin drying in the sun.
The homemade solar dehydrator consists of placing an absorbent paper on a flat surface, placing the grape grains separated from each other, thus allowing better air circulation between them.
With a cloth, we will cover the grapes, achieving absolute darkness so that the heat is trapped and allows good ventilation of the dehydration process.
This, too, will protect the grains from birds and insects, as well as dust and air pollution.
This process to make raisins takes about 10 days, depending on the weather .
In the image we can see other types of home dehydrators that take advantage of solar energy.
Another traditional way of making raisins that does not require dividing the bunch.
After the bunch has been properly cleaned, a rope is passed between the knots of the bunch and then the bunch is hung in a ventilated place, either in sunlight or indirect light, depending on the time of year we are in and the weather conditions.
5- Desiccation by artificial heat, oven, microwave or dehydrator.
Another method of making raisins is using artificial heat from a regular oven or microwave .
- In this case, the clean and loose grape must be placed in the oven at 50º as indicated above.
- Little by little to raise the temperature until reaching 70º,
- This operation must be maintained for about 7 or 10 hours .
6- How to preserve raisins ?
Preservation of raisins:
- Once the raisins are made, remember to keep them in a dark, ventilated and dry place .
- You can put open containers, covering these with a cloth or cloth that allows ventilation, so as not to run the risk of getting wet again.
7- Properties and benefits of raisins.
Raisins are a food with many benefits .
- Raisins are a good source of energy , as they contain a lot of sugar. For this reason, the consumption is indicated for people who carry out intense physical activity as athletes.
- Raisins are rich in potassium which helps circulation, normalizing blood pressure. In addition, potassium helps regulate body fluids and helps prevent rheumatic diseases or arthritis.
- They are rich in fiber and help us to maintain a perfect intestinal transit so they help us eliminate toxins.
- They are a good source of antioxidants that protect cells from aging so much.
- They improve blood circulation . It is a healthy food for those who suffer from hypertension.
8- Nutritional information of seedless raisins.
|Amount per 50 grams or usual dose of consumption||Units|
|Total fat||0,25 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||0,05 g|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids||0,05 g|
|Dietary fiber||1,85 g|
|C vitamin||1,15 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0,1 mg|