The key difference between raisins and sultanas is that raisins are made by allowing grapes to dry naturally in the sun, while sultanas are treated with an oil-based solution before drying to speed up the process. This gives sultanas a lighter color and raisins a dark brown color.
Raisins and sultanas are two popular types of dried fruits. In this article, we will delve deeper into the differences between these two dried fruits, including the types of grapes used, the drying process, and their taste.
What are Raisins?
Raisins are a dried form of grapes that have been left to dry for around three weeks. This process causes the grapes to darken, resulting in the characteristic dark brown color of raisins. Different types of grapes can be used to make raisins, leading to variations in size, taste, and color. White grapes are the most common variety used to make raisins.
In the United States, the Thompson Seedless variety is commonly used. In fact, in the US, the name “raisin” is used for both raisins and sultanas, which can lead to confusion. To differentiate between the two, sultanas are often referred to as “golden raisins” to indicate their lighter color and sweeter taste. In Australia, raisins are typically made from larger grape varieties such as Muscat, Lexia, and Waltham Cross, which results in larger sizes compared to sultanas. They have a soft texture and a sweet taste. More importantly, raisins are generally larger than sultanas and currants.
What are Sultanas?
Sultanas are a type of dried grape made from seedless green grapes, primarily the Thompson Seedless variety. Unlike raisins, sultanas are commonly treated with an oil-based solution before drying to accelerate the process. This results in a lighter color compared to raisins and currants.
In Australia, some sultanas are made without an oil-based solution. This takes longer to dry (up to three weeks) and results in a darker brown color. They are referred to as “natural sultanas.” In the US, sultanas are also known as “golden raisins” or “sultana raisins.” These are treated with sulfur dioxide to maintain their light color. Sultanas are generally smaller in size and have a sweeter and juicier taste compared to both raisins and currants.
What is the Difference Between Raisins and Sultanas?
Raisins and sultanas are both dried grapes, but there is a difference between raisins and sultanas. Raisins are made by allowing grapes to dry naturally in the sun, while sultanas are treated with an oil-based solution before drying to speed up the process. This results in a lighter color for sultanas compared to the dark brown color of raisins. Additionally, sultanas are typically smaller in size and sweeter in taste than raisins. While raisins are commonly found in many markets because of their inherent ubiquity, sultanas are comparatively hard to find and usually come from countries like Turkey and Greece.
The following table summarizes the difference between raisins and sultanas.
Summary – Raisins vs Sultanas
Even though both raisins and sultanas come from grapes, they still do differ in a lot of ways. Be it from their country of origin or the way they are dried, these differences still stand and make them unique. The key difference between raisins and sultanas is that raisins are dried naturally, while sultanas are dried with the use of vegetable oil and acid. Moreover, raisins look dark and taste sweet, but sultanas are considered sweeter and juicier.
1. “Raisin.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.