Raisin Sultanina of Crete. The blonde currant which is also called “sultana” is larger than the black one and is cultivated in the prefectures of Heraklion and Corinth. The sultana variety got its name from its region of origin, the Sultanate of Iran, which was introduced to Greece by the Asia Minor.
The importance of raisins as a commercial product seems to have its roots in antiquity, where it was used as a means of exchange for the purchase of a slave, as well as being offered as a reward and as a cure for various diseases.
Raisins are nothing but the dried form of the grape and although it is often included in the nuts, however it belongs to the category of fruits. It is cultivated during the summer months and the best ones are the ones that dry naturally on the vine. The traditional way of preparing them is by spreading them down on the ground and turning them every 7 to 10 days for about 3 weeks. However, there are more modern methods for their production, where they are harvested with machines under sheds. Their drying can be done traditionally with the sun but also by immersing them in hot water or by dehydration.
Their positive effect on our health lies in the fact that they contain antioxidants, fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, B vitamins and iron.
Here are some ideas to include raisins in your diet:
• In your breakfast, in 1 glass of milk, add whole grains or oats and a tablespoon of raisins, filling with 1 fruit. You can do the same with yogurt instead of milk, adding 1 tablespoon of honey or unsalted grated nuts.
• Combine rice with raisins and pine nuts, it will give you an impressive and at the same time very nutritious meal.
• Add to your meat stuffing and salads.
• Also use them in the preparation of sweets, such as raisin bread, cakes, ice cream, pastries, walnut pie, ravani, Christmas pie and wherever you like. Just let your imagination run wild.