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Raisins are dried grapes. They are produced in many regions of the world, such as the United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Togo, Jamaica, South Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe. Raisins may be eaten raw or used in cooking and baking.
The word raisin dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; in Old French and French, raisin means "grape", while a raisin in French is called a raisin sec, a "dry grape". The Old French word in turn developed from Latin racemus, "a bunch of grapes". The origin of the Latin word is unclear.
Template:Seealso Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used. Seedless varieties include Thompson Seedless (Sultana) and Flame. Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be "water-dipped", or dehydrated. "Golden raisins" are made from Thompsons, treated with Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) , and flame dried to give them their characteristic color. A particular variety of seedless grape, the Black Corinth, is also sun dried to produce Zante currants, mini raisins that are much darker in color and have a tart, tangy flavour. Several varieties of raisins are produced in Asia and are only available at ethnic grocers. Green raisins are produced in Iran. Raisins have a variety of colors (green, black, white) and sizes. Raisins are also produced in India.
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Raisins are sweet due to their high concentration of sugars. If they are stored for a long period, the sugar inside the fruit crystallizes. This makes the fruit gritty, but does not affect its usability. To de-crystalize raisins, they can be soaked in liquid (alcohol, fruit juice, or boiling water) for a short period, dissolving the sugar.