I don’t like raisins. I love sultanas. So imagine my surprise when I came to Austria and was forced to eat Rosinin (raisins), only to discover they were actually sultanas.
In fact, sometimes the packet says Rosinin… sometimes it says Sultaninen… but for all intensive purposes, they seem to be the same thing.
The confusion over raisins vs sultanas is not unique to Austria – this is apparently something puzzling people the world over. A quick web search showed many different opinions, but after delving a bit deeper I discovered that yes, while they do come from a different type of grape, depending on where in the world you are, the manufacturing and drying process differs, hence the mix of different sizes and colours.
Essentially (so they say), the taste is so similar, so you can substitute one for the other anytime. With that theory, I guess it doesn’t really matter what’s on the packet. And don’t get me wrong, I am sure that if I really needed raisins, I could find them… I’d probably just have to go a bit further afield than my local Hofer.
But I’m not going hunting for them, cause in my mind, raisins are large, tough creatures, while sultanas are soft, sweet and juicy.
To be fair, it’s been so long since I ate a raisin that I probably can’t claim anymore that I don’t like them. Maybe one day I’ll have a chance to taste the two side by side… but there’s no rush. Here in Austria, Apple Strudel, Kärntner Reindling and some types of Schnecken all have sultanas/raisins in them, and they all taste damn good. So I’m just going to go with it.
I understand the confusion. Raisins used to be much bigger in Australia. They had to be cut up before adding to most cake/biscuit recipes. Now they are very similar in size to sultanas.
So I’m not going mad after all! 🙂