Sun-dried, naturally sweet California Raisins are always an excellent choice in the professional kitchen.
As the world’s top chefs know, the depth of character and flavor that California Raisins lend to any dish is limited only by the imagination and creativity of the one using them. However they are used, raisins provide a healthy, flavorful experience for your guests.
- Flavor Compatibility: California Raisins are compatible with sweet and savory flavors; blend well with mild or spicy flavors, vanilla, cinnamon and citrus flavors; provide excellent flavor background for savory dishes and ethnic foods; and are compatible with all sweet foods.
- Flavor Enhancement: California Raisins contain 2.2 percent tartaric acid, a flavor enhancer. They also contain precursors of the Maillard reaction. This enables California Raisins to function as flavor enhancers and flavor potentiators in roasted, baked and microwaveable products.
- Flavor Identity: When added to a dish that is traditionally simmered, such as stews or sauces and then pureed, raisins have the unique ability to take on a whole new flavor profile.
- Flavor Tradition: Raisins also have earned their place in such comfort foods like cheeseburgers, ice cream, French toast, scones, muffins, artisan and whole grain breads and rolls, as well as with oatmeal and dry cereals, and muesli. California Raisins are also finding their way into wraps and healthy snack bars, savory sauces, fruitful finishes, and Latin libations.
- Texture: California Raisins combine with salty, crunchy, spicy and smoky ingredients to achieve a spectrum of subtle, balanced and novel flavors from the deep and earthy to the highly aromatic.
Food technologists and chefs alike know that the versatility and functionality of California Raisins is absolutely unlimited.
- Texture / Fat Substitution: California Raisins are plump, fresh tasting and have a soft “chew” that mimics fat and richness. Raisins act as a fat-replacer in baked goods without the addition of significant amounts of water and offer pleasant chewiness in a wide range of products. They are not gritty and typically free from large sugar crystals. California Raisins function well in fat-free baked goods, cookies and cakes.
- Texture and Skin Integrity: The skin of the California Raisin is not easily damaged by processing aids or by other processes. Therefore, raisins retain their shape and integrity during preparation. In fact, raisins plump during microwaving and baking, building volume and mouthfeel.
- Binding: California Raisin’s natural sugars create a firm texture that can help bind dry ingredients in foods such as bars, snacks, cookies, desserts and other dishes.
- Water Activity: At the same moisture content, California Raisins generally have a lower water activity than other dried vine fruits because of their intact skin and fructose-glucose content. This prevents migration of moisture to or from ingredients in preparations and allows them to be added to recipes without concern for adding unneeded moisture.
- Emulsifying: Raisins have a great emulsifying quality in vinaigrettes and other preparations. They can exhibit a rich earthiness that adds surprising character and depth to dishes that might include ancho or guajillo chile peppers.