Sun dried raisins versus golden raisins – Can you swap one another out in recipes? Is one better than the other with baking?
We’ll check it out.
Raisins are of course dried grapes. Grapes have been utilized as raisins for centuries, because raisins can keep forever without spoiling.
In 1876, William Thompson developed a type of sweet, seedless grapes that happened to dry very well.
- Thompson seedless grapes account for 95% of California raisins.
- California raisins account for 50% of global production.
- It takes four to five pounds of grapes to make one pound of raisins.
- Grapes are about 78% water; raisins are 15%.
Sun dried raisins:
- Are air-dried in the sun.
- Take two to three weeks to produce raisins.
- Are dark colored.
- Are soaked in warm water;
- Then, warm air is blown through the grapes to dry them quickly.
- Take about 24 hours to produce raisins.
- Are treated with sulfur dioxide to retain golden color.
- Are more moist and plump than sun dried.
Although you can substitute sun dried raisins for golden and vice versa, because they are moister and plumper golden raisins are preferred for baking purposes.
Also, well known raisin company Sun-Maid says this about chemically treating golden raisins:
“Most light colored dried fruits have been treated with sulfur to maintain the light color. Sulfur dioxide has historically been used in preparation of dried fruits including dried apples, dried apricots, dried pears, and golden raisins to prevent the darkening of fruits during drying. Without the use of sulfites, the fruit darkens and changes flavor as it dries. Sulfur dioxide halts these reactions which would otherwise occur spontaneously as the fruit dries.”
In conclusion, sun dried raisins are sun dried and dark colored. Golden raisins are lighter in color, made possible by the sulfur treatment, and are fuller and juicier from being soaked in water.
Find the difference between raisins and currants here.