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Old 11-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
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Golden raisins

When I first came across golden raisins on "Barefoot Contessa" I assumed they were what we call sultanas but last week when I went into the health food shop for some oatmeal I saw golden raisins on the shelf and picked up a bag. Took them home and sampled them. Sultanas they are not. They are absolutely yummy. I think they must come from green grapes not red or black and have a lovely fresh fruity taste. I keep dipping into the storage jar to have a taste. At this rate I'll have to go and buy more.

Why didn't I know about these years ago?
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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They are really delicious.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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So MC, what is the difference between sultanas and golden raisins? I tried Googling but the terms seem to be used interchangeably.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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Cool. I always thought they were interchangeable too.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Sultanas and Thompson seedless (close relatives) makes golden raisins here where I live. Melissa grapes make big fat golden raisins. Add a little age, and they get can darker. There's also a dark Thompson seedless. All are tasty fresh off the vine or dried to a raisin.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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I love them too and don't like black raisins at all. Then again I love white wine and don't like red wine so it makes sense I guess. When ever raisins are called for I always use golden. I especially like them at this time of year in my holiday dressing along with dried cranberries.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #7
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Oh, yeah, golden raisins is my number one choice.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:12 AM   #8
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I also love them in my rice pilaf...

Half cup of jasmine rice, half cup of orzo, browned in butter and oil. I add sliced shallots, chopped mushrooms to the saute', and then a handful of golden raisins, with two cups of rich chicken broth and one tablespoon of curry powder. Simmered for 15 min on low, fluffed, and add some toasted slivered almonds to the mix. Very tasty.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
So MC, what is the difference between sultanas and golden raisins? I tried Googling but the terms seem to be used interchangeably.
Yes, that's what I thought before I bought the golden raisins. I don't know if you have sultanas as I haven't come across them in recipes. They're not as raisin-y flavoured as normal raisins (IYKWIM) and a lighter brown in colour but really they tend to be used interchangeable in baking by most people. I prefer them to raisins if I'm putting them on my breakfast cereal though.

The golden raisins are a revelation, though. I'll be using them a lot. They are yummy on porridge
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I also love them in my rice pilaf...

Half cup of jasmine rice, half cup of orzo, browned in butter and oil. I add sliced shallots, chopped mushrooms to the saute', and then a handful of golden raisins, with two cups of rich chicken broth and one tablespoon of curry powder. Simmered for 15 min on low, fluffed, and add some toasted slivered almonds to the mix. Very tasty.
Ooh, I'll be trying this (if I've any GRs left by the time I stop dipping into the jar every time I pass it) Note to self - buy orzo next time I'm shopping
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:15 AM   #11
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Sultanas and Thompson seedless (close relatives) makes golden raisins here where I live. Melissa grapes make big fat golden raisins. Add a little age, and they get can darker. There's also a dark Thompson seedless. All are tasty fresh off the vine or dried to a raisin.
Thanks for that, Oldvine, very interesting.

In that case I think the sultanas we get must be made from the dark Thompson's Seedless. I don't think I've seen dark TS grapes on the fresh fruit counters here (I must look) but we get a lot of the green version and very nice they are too.

The golden raisins I got were very pale and the flavour was very fresh and fruity.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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Just a point of clarification. We had this same discussion in another group I belong to. Thompson Seedless (US) and Sultana (England) refer to the same variety of white seedless grape. The color difference and sweetness of golden raisins/sultanas is dependent on where they are grown and treated. California has a longer, warmer growing season than England, which makes for grapes with higher sugar levels. That's why golden raisins tend to be sweeter. Both types are treated with sulphur dioxide, which preserves the color. Also of note: while most golden raisins these days are made from Thompson Seedless, there is no standard that says they have to be. In the not-too-distant past, most golden raisins were made of muscat grapes that were de-seeded. However, since Muscat has become more popular as a wine grape in recent years, more of the grapes have been used for that purpose.

Or at least that's my understanding.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:46 PM   #13
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My experience has been that sultanas are slightly darker, drier, and often have a tiny bit of crystallized sugar on the outside. I don't often see golden raisins. I have found them to be plumper and lighter in colour. I guess we use the word sultana because of the British influence.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #14
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I first came across them by reading either Ottolenghi or Jose Pizzaro. Love them and prefer them to the dark raisins (I am a red wine drinker too). I now only buy the golden raisins and use them whenever raisins are called for (mostly savoury dishes) - Tagines and a Jose Pizzaro spicy chicken recipe in particular.
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