In Australia, we eat sultanas. No one eats raisins. I’ve always thought that sultanas was just the Anglicised term for the dried grape, but apparently sultanas are made from green grapes and raisins from red grapes.

We’ve been talking a lot about what food we eat — where it comes from and what technique has been applied to make it in the state it is when it reaches the table. (This can be a bit disconcerting, for instance when Brioni asks, “Is this cow?” while picking up a slice of beef. It also gets complicated because we have egg-laying chooks as quasi-pets.)

Anyhow, while discussing sultanas at breakfast, we decided to see if we could make some in the oven. As far as experiments go, it’s an easy one — not messy and pretty quick.

Grapes, March 2009
We arranged some red grapes and green grapes on an oven tray.

Grapes, March 2009
After four hours in a very low oven, the red grapes shriveled into the smaller raisins on the left. The green grapes left a sticky, burnt residue on the tray and stayed plumper and larger. The raisins/sultanas tasted nice — a little burnt — but definitely edible.