Raisin

Either dark or golden, it’s good for your health!

A raisin is a dried grape and depending on its color, there are two varieties of raisins: black and blonde. The blonde are also called sultanas while the most popular black variety is the Corinthian black currant.

The differences between blond and black currant are both in color and also in flavor. While the black currants are small and grown in the Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands, the sultanas are largely cultivated at the prefectures of Heraklion and Corinth.

The main production process has to do with drying the fruit, especially the black raisin, in the sun for a few days, and then there may be used some additives to improve the quality and extend the storage time. The producers collect the blackcurrants usually in August and let them dry out in specially designed outdoor spaces.

Raisins are concentrated sources of energy, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Their positive effect on our health lies in the fact that they contain antioxidants, fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, B vitamins and iron. Also, raisins have antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of oral decay, gingivitis and plaque.

In antiquity raisins stood for a key element on the diet of our ancestors, who believed raisins to contain magical and highly beneficial properties. In addition, ancient Greeks were considered of the most skilled vine growers and winemakers. Writers such as Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle often refer to raisins in their manuscripts, known then as “astafides” or “stafylides” or “raisins”.

In Greece, raisins are eaten as dried nuts and they are also added to cakes, breads, spoon sweets and various other pastry preparations.

The Vostitsa Currants and the raisins of Zakynthos are vested as PDO products, while the raisins of Helia as PGI, according to the laws of the EU.

MLGFB Tip:

How to make raisin breads with honey and cinnamon

Ingredients: 500g flour, 1 dry yeast, 1 cup of honey, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 50 ml of brandy, 1 cup of small black currants, 1 cup of lukewarm milk, 1 egg, 50 g. of melted butter, a pinch of salt

Preaparation:

  • In a small bowl pour the brandy and raisins and let them seasoned for 30 minutes
  • In another bowl, add the milk and the yeast and stir
  • Put the honey and then the egg beaten, the cinnamon and the melted butter
  • Strain the raisins and pour them also to the mixture,  and then slowly add the flour
  • Knead the mixture well until it becomes a soft dough
  • Leave it in a warm place until it doubles in size
  • Divide the dough into balls and place them on baking sheet for about half an hour
  • Then bake them at 180 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Brush with a little milk the surface of the breads and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes
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