Raisins, sultanas, and currants are small, sweet, sometimes tart, dried fruits that are used in much the same way, but they each have their own unique traits.
Do you know the difference between these frequently mentioned baking basics?
The Difference Between Raisins, Sultanas, and Currants, while all three are types of dried fruit and used in similar ways, there are several things that set raisins, sultanas, and dried currants apart from each other. Raisins, and sultanas are sweet dried fruits that stem from different varieties of vine-grown grapes, most sultanas are white grapes, while currants really are a fresh bush-grown berry that is tart rather than sweet. Currants are also sold dried, but are not always easily available.
More About Raisins
Raisins are dried grapes, mostly green in skin color which darken as they dry, becoming a dense, dark-coloured dried fruit that are just full of sweet flavour. Raisins are commonly produced in Turkey and make a great snack on the go. Raisins are mixed into foods like granola and chutneys, used in cakes, pies, and other baked goods. They’re often soaked in alcohol or other flavourful liquids to rehydrate them before being used in baked goods, as they easily absorb liquid.
More About Sultanas
Sultanas or golden raisins, are golden-coloured dried grapes that are made from various varieties of seedless white-fleshed grapes that are usually quite sweet. The skin of these fruits starts off as a pale yellow and become a golden yellow as they dry. Sultanas also easily absorb liquid but are smaller and slightly sweeter. Sultanas are used in the same way that you would use raisins with the main advantage being their light colour and sweeter taste.
More About Currants
While raisins and sultanas are sweet and grow on vines, true black and red currants are quite tart and grow on bushes. The name currant on its own just refers to the fresh currant fruit. So what exactly are the sweet, dried fruits labeled currants? These are not actually proper currants! Zante currants, Corinth raisins, or Corinthian raisins, also called simply currants, are dried berries of the small, sweet, seedless grape cultivar Black Corinth. They come from very small grapes (about one-fourth the size of standard grapes), and that’s where some confusion may arise. When you buy currants at the grocery store today, you’re likely buying Zante currants — these tiny dried grapes. They’re sometimes labeled as such, and sometimes simply labeled as currants. True dried currants are harder to find and typically labeled as black currants. True currants, on the other hand, are a very different fruit. Black currants are a fresh, tart berry, and while dried currants are available, they are not as readily available as raisins and sultanas.