How Raisins are Made
Grape Growing, Harvesting, and Drying -- Raisins are dried grapes!
As I handed my young sons mini boxes of raisins, I commented to them that raisins are the original fruit snack -- When I was a kid, we didn't have "fruit" snacks like they have now (you know the type, the gelatin-corn-syrup things with artificial colors and flavors shaped like different cartoon characters and such). Their eyes widened in disbelief. That showed that they 1) Think mommy grew up in the age of dinosaurs; 2) Are too far removed from where real food comes from; or 3) Both.
I told them that the shaped snacks are unhealthy but raisins are healthy. Then my son said something about raisins coming from a raisin tree. Oh dear. No, I explained, raisins start as grapes growing on vines. They're dried fruit. We went on an Internet search to find videos and other information about how grapes are turned into raisins. This page is about what we found out about raisins.
How Raisins are Grown and Harvested
This is a great video from Sunmaid Raisins that shows how raisins are harvested.
Food Dehydrators - available on Amazon
Grapes and other fruits can be dried using a food dehydrator.
Informational Links About Raisins
Some of these links lead you to videos about how grapes are grown, harvested, and converted into raisins.
- California agriculture: from grapes to raisins -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia
Multimedia for California agriculture: from grapes to raisins. Explore the updated online encyclopedia from Encyclopaedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and web sites.
- Sun-Maid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun-Maid - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- History of raisins and the Sun-Maid company
Video from Sun-Maid at this link explains that California raisins are different from raisins produced in other parts of the world, and shares how Sun-Maid began as a grower cooperative.
- Raisin growing and harvesting - part 1
VIDEO from Sun-Maid about growing and harvesting of grapes and development into grapes
- Raisin harvesting and processing - part 2
VIDEO from Sun-Maid explains the harvesting, processing, and many uses & health benefits of raisins.
Grapes to raisins time lapse video
A time lapse video showing grapes drying into raisins
Raisins on Amazon.com
Migrant Farmworker Family's Story of the Grape Harvest
After watching this, you'll never take your raisins for granted anymore!
"The story is about the Jimenez, a migrant farmworker family that harvested raisin grapes for nearly 60 years. The vineyards were located near Fresno California in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Olga and Manuel Jimenez encourage other farmworkers to tell their story and become part of California's farm history."