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From Grapes to Sun Dried Raisins
Sun Dried Raisisins
When the grapes on your grape covered terrace or the vines in your vineyard starts to look ripe - then it's time to consider whether all of them are to be eaten fresh from the fruit bowl, to be changed into vine...or to take advantage of the fact (if you are that lucky) that you happen to live where the climate makes it possible to create sun dried raisins .....with a little help from the sun.
However there is nothing like producing your own big & juicy sun dried raisins.
You can speed up the process with a food dryer
How to Dry Raisins in the Sun
- Leave the bunches of grapes on the vines until they are very ripe. That way the content of sugar increases and sugar is a conservator.
- Handpick the bunches and place them to dry in the sun on a clean surface. It's important to spread out the grapes as much as possible - otherwise they will not dry but start to rotten instead. You can also hang your bunches of grapes on a tight string / robe. That way they will get light and air from all sides. Just make sure the wind don`t take them. Another advantage by hanging them is that you don't need to turn them and the ants can't get them.
- If they are not hanging, you will have to turn them daily in order for all the grapes to dry. During this process the grapes dehydrate and the content of sugar and nutrition increases.
- It could be a month before the grapes transform into dark brown juicy and delicious raisins. Sometime faster.
- When the grapes have turned into raisins, they all needs cutting. You cut the raisin off the bunch, but you must leave a centimeter of the stalk, otherwise you will leave a hole in the raisin that invites access for bacteria's and other little creatures.
- Wash the dried raisins. They will most likely have gathered a lot of dust. Use a sift and flush them with clean water.
- Spread out the raisins on clean linned until they are dry and ready to be stores in carboard boxes - in a dry and dark place.
Ancient Means of Conservation
Drying fruit is by no means a new invention. We as human beings have been drying fruit ever since the Stone Age in order to make the crop last until the next season. It is still common practice in Eastern and Southern Europe to dry fruit.
Dried fruit started out as a necessity but has gradually transformed into a luxury, gastronomically speaking, that we wouldn't like to be without.
Today the choices are endless. There is hardly a fruit or a berry from the entire globe that can't be bought dried.
Today the biggest producer of raisins is California - but Turkey, Greece, Spain, China and South Africa also produce an important amount of raisins.