Friday, August 16, 2013

I say sultana.

A friend of a friend grows grapes that are destined to be harvested and dried, only to be reinvented as golden raisins - or sultanas as they are known in England.  I have never liked sultanas, but I do like fresh grapes and this big bunch of grapes, that arrived recently in Vinoland, were wonderful to snack on even though they were a tad under ripe.
Himrod (Vitis labrusca) is a white table grape, released in 1952 by the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.  The grape is a cross between Ontario and Thompson Seedless, it is a seedless variety and is known for ripening quickly and being very productive.  In California, most golden raisins are produced from the aforementioned Thompson Seedless (also known as the Sultana grape in other parts of the world).  For most raisin production, grapes are harvested in early autumn and are sun-dried over a three week period in the vineyards on paper trays.  Golden raisins, however, are oven-dried and treated with the preservative sulphur dioxide to retain their light colour. This form of sulphite has been used for centuries to prevent the darkening of any fruit during the drying process.  (I do like nice, apricot-coloured, dried apricots).
Funny, all of a sudden I am craving a warm, buttered scone.  But made with Zante currants.


Thomas said...

I'll share that scone with you, if you'll allow. Raisins, however, make me squirm. Don't know why, but I never liked raisins...well, I do know why. I am not much on most--not all--sweet edibles.

I used to grow a seedless grape named Interlaken. It has the same parentage as Himrod but I suppose in a different ratio.

They were quite fruity yet with that Northeastern snappy acidity.

Thud said...

sultanas ok in xmas pud.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Vinogirl, a very cerebral photo, but that stem upsets the apple cart:)
Raisin-bran has been breakfast for a long time, and I imagine that chocolate-covered raisins makes for a healthy snack.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: My grandmother made the best scones. To this day a good scone reminds me of being at my gran's house on a Sunday.

Himrod. I looked at a map...isn't that right by you?

Thud: Ah, but you like fruitcake, I don't.

NHW: The bunch needs the stem to stick around, so it stays :)

Goobers, yes. Raisinets, no.

Thomas said...


In a region that is 9,000 square miles you could say that at an hour- plus drive, Himrod is near me.

It would take less time if there were bridges over the lakes, but there aren't, so every drive from one lake to another means first going north or south before going east or west.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Sorry, America's a big place. I thought Hammondsport was closer!

Thomas said...


My mailing address is Hammondsport, but I'm not there either. Where I'm physically located we haven't got mail delivery service...we use the Hammondsport Post Office.

It's rural living in the 21st century, surrounded by vineyards and sundry farm crops, not to mention the fabulous 900-foot above sea level view of Keuka Lake.

Did I tell you that we have decided to sell our place?

After 30 years here, our aching bones tell us that it's time to move on. ( Not officially listed yet.

Do Bianchi said...

great post, Vinogirl! You had me at the title... :)

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Oh my gosh! Are you sure? That place is beautiful.

2B: What's in a name? I say lots of useless stuff :)

Thomas said...


The place is beautiful, and we are sure.

I want to go back to NY City; my wife thinks I'm crazy. I am, but that has nothing to do with wanting to go back to NY City.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: New York sounds exciting, will get there one day...

Thomas said...

Anniversaries are exciting too--happy belated.