Raisins are used as an ingredient in hearty dishes as well as cereals and fruit salads. Thanks to their high sugar content, they are also often included in desserts and pastries.
From Wikipedia: “Raisins are dried grapes. Raisins are produced in many regions of the world and may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking, and brewing. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, the word "raisin" is reserved for the dark-coloured dried large grape, with "sultana" being a golden-coloured dried grape, and "currant" being a dried small Black Corinth seedless grape.”
“Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used, and are made in a variety of sizes and colors including green, black, brown, blue, purple, and yellow. Seedless varieties include the sultana (the common American type is known as Thompson Seedless in the USA), the Greek currants (black corinthian raisins, Vitis vinifera L. var. Apyrena) and Flame grapes. Raisins are traditionally sun-dried, but may also be water-dipped and artificially dehydrated.
"Golden raisins" are treated with sulfur dioxide after drying to give them their golden color.
Black Corinth or Zante currant are miniature, sometimes seedless raisins that are much darker and have a tart, tangy flavor. They are often called currants. Muscat raisins are large compared to other varieties, and also sweeter.
Several varieties of raisins produced in Asia are available in the West only at ethnic grocers. Monukka grapes are used for some of these.”
“Raisins can contain up to 72% sugars by weight, most of which is fructose and glucose. They also contain about 3% protein and 3.7%–6.8% dietary fiber. Raisins, like prunes and apricots, are also high in certain antioxidants, but have a lower vitamin C content than fresh grapes. Raisins are low in sodium and contain no cholesterol.
Data presented at the American College of Cardiology's 61st Annual Scientific Session in 2012 suggest that, among individuals with mild increases in blood pressure, the routine consumption of raisins (three times a day) may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks.”
“Raisins are sweet due to their high concentration of sugars (about 30% fructose and 28% glucose by weight). The sugars can crystallise inside the fruit when stored after a long period, making the dry raisins gritty, but that does not affect their usability. These sugar grains can be dissolved by blanching the fruit in hot water or other liquids.”
“Raisins can be eaten as a nutritious snack, rich in dietary fiber, carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, minerals, vitamins, and other micronutrients. Their fat content is low. The overall nutritional value of raisins means they are recommended as a snack for both weight control and for maintaining good human health because they help the control of glucose, the good functioning of the digestive system and the regulation of blood pressure. Replacing unhealthy snacks by raisins in usual and moderate quantity can improve health biomarkers in patients with controlled type 2 diabetes. Adoption of this dietary habit may reduce diastolic blood pressure and increase the levels of plasma antioxidants in type 2 diabetic patients. Corinthian raisins are a moderate glycemic index fruit. They can be consumed in small amounts even by diabetic patients instead of sweets in a balanced diet. Antioxidants in Greek raisins may reduce the risk for malignancies in the stomach and colon. Thus, in a balanced diet, their antioxidants can help maintain the health of the digestive system.”
“The word "raisin" dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; in modern French, raisin means "grape", while a dried grape is a raisin sec, or "dry grape". The Old French word, in turn, developed from the Latin word racemus, "a bunch of grapes".”
“Raisins can cause renal failure in dogs. The cause of this is not known.”