Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Dec 17, 2006 01:00 PM

World's Best Raisins??

What's your vote for the best raisins?

So many commercial brand raisins are dry and/or stemmy. And often the bulk raisins are seedy (meaning they are so plump they seem to have little seeds in them).

Where do you go for delicious moist raisins?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like the Sun-Maid Premium Jumbo Mixed Raisins. They are always on clearance at the supermarket but strikingly delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kare_raisu

      I had been buying them interchangeably with TJ's raisins.. I recently purchased a bag of "Premium Jumbo Mixed Raisins," but got a bag filled with teeny-weeny mixed raisins.

      Disappointed, I went tot he Sun-Maid website to complain and their response was to send me a coupon to buy more. No apology. No oops we made a mistake. No "yes, we changed the product."

      I will be going back to Trader Joes.

    2. I've read recently - at least since Labor Day - about the
      introduction of artisinal raisins. I'm not sure of where
      I read it - probably in the San Jose Mercury News. You
      buy them dried in clusters on the vine. I haven't seen
      any yet and have no idea what they'll cost.

      1 Reply
      1. re: taco_belle

        This sounds very interesting... I'd love to try them. Haven't heard anything about this.

      2. Anyime I find Dole Raisins I'm required to buy them, because my wife thinks they are the best of the commercial brands. They are surprisingly difficult to find.

        1 Reply
        1. re: joypirate

          But dole raisins are bathed in warm water and then warmed in dry flowing air and I think sun maid raisins are the best because they are sun dried

        2. I go to my food coop and buy Flame raisins. Plumb and delicious.

          8 Replies
          1. re: NYchowcook

            Second the flames sold in the bulk section of seom markets. My mom loves them. Their huge, too, bigger than pumpkin seeds.

            1. re: Humbucker

              Trader Joe's usually has a variety pack of raisins, and flame is one of the included. It used to be a favorite snack of mine.

              1. re: maestra

                Yes, trader joe's mixed raisins are really good. Huge, moist, not stemmy. Much more of a treat than standard raisins.

                1. re: prunefeet

                  Yes! What a treat.

                  The last type of raisins I had that were outstanding and very different from normal raisins was Sun Maid's baking raisins that were plumped up and much juicier and tastier than the normal pint sized raisins.

                  For some reason, the sight of Trader Joe's "Jumbo Raisin Medley" caught my eye. The contents were of three different colors and were quite large.
                  They consisted of seedless golden light raisins, flame raisins, and jumbo raisins (also, sulfur dioxide). The packaging was of the kind that has that zip lock seal that allows the user to seal up the opened package in a convenient seal.

                  I normally don't get excited about raisins (they simply taste good from the intense sweetness), but these were among the best I had ever tasted, both in their juiciness AND with the taste combination from the three different kinds of raisins. As I continued munching through half the bag, I couldn't help but think, "with this kind of taste, who needs to be eating candy! This is as good as most candy I have had!

                  For anyone who enjoys eating raisins, this product will satisfy your raisin sweet tooth. I found this package in the nut aisle by the packages of figs and other dried fruit.

                  I had noticed the flame raisins sold at supermarkets, but was unwilling to pay the much higher price, thinking that normal priced raisins are enough for me. The Trader Joe's product was reasonably priced, but the taste exceeded its cost value.

                  1. re: FelafelBoy

                    Funny, I've gotten the Jumbo Raisin Medley too and found it to be horrible. The raisins were way too sweet for me and more crystalized rather than moist.

                    1. re: Humbucker

                      I understand what you mean. I also found them very sweet, but in a different way than some Sunmaid brand raisins which can also be sweet. Somehow the combination of the three different kinds created a sweetness that I found appealing, albeit candylike!

                      And yes, I did find some raisins that had that crytalized character you referred to, thus my description of this treat as somewhat candylike.
                      If I am going to eat candy, I'd rather eat something like this than other candy that may consist of ingredient that may be of a less "healthy" and natural character.

                      1. re: Humbucker

                        I bought a Jumbo "gourmet" raisin medley at our local grocery store. The tasted like rancid nuts. There really isn't anything that would go rancid in a raisin. Don't know how they were stored before packaging but I will have to try them again. Different store of course.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          What types of raisins did the medley consist of? How were they packaged? The packaging of the "Jumbo Raisin Medley" at Trader Joe's is transparent, so you see what you are getting, and the packaging feels better made than other packaging I've seen elsewhere.

                          I had a similar experience with raisins that were packed in a small box at a large chain drug store whose name I will not mention here, other than to say it begins with "W." At first the raisins tasted ok, and by the end they had a slight "off" taste. It may have been from the quality of the raisins themselves vs. storage life. I also don't know how that kind of packaging retains freshness - there was no inner lining, just an enclosed paper/cardboard box enclosure.

                          I absolutely had foul tasting dried apricots from this store. The container was sealed and had a flimsy cheap plastic seal over the top, but the apricots had gone bad. I would never chance that again. I will, if possible buy such products from containers like the ones I saw at TJ where I can see what I am getting.

                          By the way, I have never had a bad experience with Sunmaid Raisins, even though they use a similar kind of packaging. I trust that brand, thus I can make the exception to the rule that I just stated. But now that I have tasted how much better raisins can be from the product I got at Trader Joe's, I will continue buying them.

                          Last night, I added a few of them to my dry cereal with bananas and milk, and was amazed at how their livelier taste brightened up what had been rather boring cereal.

            2. Sun maid- golden jumbos- for me, moist and candy like.