So, you want to know more about our raisins? Then you’ve come to the right place. We believe we grow the best raisins in the world.
What makes them so special?
The only elements used to produce California Raisins are plenty of sunshine and mountain water. With strict production processes and rigorous quality and grading, you can be assured that California Raisins will be 100% natural. California Raisins are sweet, juicy and intensely fruity. In addition to being a tasty snack, they have a variety of different uses in food manufacturing and can be used in lots of different recipes at home too. Made from a seedless grape variety, the secret to the excellence of California Raisins is in their skin. Since they are seedless, there is no need to break the skin to remove any seeds after drying. The concentration of sugars is consistent, they won’t crystallise and none of the flavour is lost through cracking. Because the skin is not broken during the drying process, raisins will stand up to all kinds of manufacturing and cooking processes - they won’t collapse when added to mixtures or during baking for example – and even better they retain all their nutritional properties.
Judge for yourself? California Raisins are widely available in all major supermarkets and Health Food Stores. Look for Country of origin: USA or California on the pack! You may also be surprised how many products contain CALIFORNIA Raisins – including mince pies, hot cross buns, cereals and many more...
Many, many years ago in 1848 the California ‘Gold Rush’ made a few people rich, but the true richness of the state of California was yet to be discovered.
In 1873, California suffered a terrible drought where they had no rain for several months with no rain to feed the grapes they dried up and shrivelled on the vine. Looking to make money from the dried-out grapes, a clever man in San Francisco sold the dried-up grapes as ‘Peruvian Delicacies’ and the California Raisin was born.
Raisins are simply dried sweet grapes. Until medieval times, raisins were the second in choice as a sweetener, honey being the top choice.
Sweet, juicy and intensely fruity...
California Raisins are gown in the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno, California. This location provides the perfect weather conditions and fertile soil to grow natural Thompson seedless grapes. The grapes are picked between late August and late September and laid out on paper trays between the rows of vines.
The grapes can dry naturally in the sun for 2-3 weeks until dark brown when they are officially a raisin.
What is the difference between a Raisin and a Sultana?
For years sultanas and raisins have often been confused. California Raisins are produced from seedless grapes which are left for approximately 3-4 weeks in the 140+ degrees of California sun. During drying the intense heat caramelises the natural sugars in the grapes, which give the raisins their distinctive blue-black colour and rich dark flavour.
Sultanas are produced from Thompson seedless grape varietals, and Turkey with an average crop of c.280,000MT is the world’s largest producer of sultanas. They differ from raisins in two ways; firstly, finished sultanas are much lighter in colour, but more importantly they undergo a different drying process.
During the drying process, the mature grapes are dipped in a potash solution which cracks the skins and reduces the overall drying time. The drying period before being immersed in potash solution for sultanas is approximately 1 week as opposed to around 3 weeks to produce a true sun-dried raisin. Raisins have slightly stronger skins making them ideal for baking since they are less prone to disintegration. In ‘out of the box’ snacking, raisins outsell sultanas by 4 to 1 in UK retail.
Established in 1998, the California Raisin Marketing Board is 100% grower funded. Its aim is to expand worldwide demand for California Raisins through market development, crop production, nutrition and market research.