No matter how you feel about raisins, there are numerous ways you can use them in the kitchen. You might be of the opinion that they don’t belong in cookies, but either way, raisins can be a quick, healthy snack or a tasty topping for rice pudding and other desserts. If you’ve ever seen currants in the store, you may have noticed how similar they look to raisins and wondered about the difference between them.
The main difference between currants and raisins is they come from different types of grapes. Raisins and currants are both dried grapes, but currants are typically smaller and more tangy than raisins. However, these types of currants, also known as Zante currants, are not the same as currant berries.
It’s not as simple as you might think to distinguish the differences between currants and raisins, but they do have slightly different appearances and flavors. Keep reading to find out more about the difference between currants vs raisins.
Currants vs Raisins: What Is the Difference?
When comparing currants and raisins, what they have in common is they’re both types of dried grapes. The main difference between them is the type of grape they come from.
It’s worth mentioning that a currant is also the name of a berry which can include varieties like black currants, red currants, and white currants. However, these types of currants are not similar to raisins and they’re rarely found in the United States. Black currants were even banned in the early 1900s because of the way they impacted other plant life.
In the United States, the word currant is generally referring to the Zante currant, which is a type of dried grape similar to a raisin. The main difference between currants and raisins is the type of grape they come from. While technically, raisin is an umbrella term for all types of dried grapes, the word raisin normally refers specifically to the black raisin variety.
Raisins are most often made from Thompson Seedless grapes while currants come from Black Corinth grapes. Some of the other varieties of dried grapes include golden raisins, green raisins, flame raisins, and sultanas.
One of the major differences in the appearance of raisins vs currants is their size. Since currants are made from a smaller variety of grapes, currants are much smaller than raisins. Raisins are also sweeter while currants are more tart.
Main Differences Between Currants vs Raisins
Even though a currant is a type of berry in other countries, in the United States, a currant is a type of raisin made from the Black Corinth grape. Here are the main differences between raisins and currants:
- Currants and raisins are made from different types of grapes
The biggest difference between Zante currants and raisins is they’re made from different types of grapes. While raisins are made from large, seedless grapes such as the Thompson Seedless, currants are made from Black Corinth grapes.
- Currants are smaller than standard raisins
Since raisins are made from a larger grape variety, currants are smaller than black raisins. However, the size can vary based on the specific type of grape.
- Raisins are sweeter than currants
Different types of grapes have slightly different flavors. Raisins, when compared to currants, are generally sweeter while currants are more tart.
Nutritional Value of Currants vs Raisins
What Are Currants?
The definition of a currant will vary depending on where you’re from. While currant is a type of berry grown primarily in Europe, in the United States and the United Kingdom, the word currant is used to describe a specific type of raisin. You won’t see fresh currant berries frequently in the United States but they are used in other countries in various desserts and jams.
These currants are often known as Zante currants and are a dried version of Black Corinth grapes. Compared to raisins, they’re smaller in size and more tart in flavor. Currant berries, such as the Black, Red, or White Currants, aren’t commonly served in a dried form and aren’t common in the United States, so if you notice dried currants in the store, they’re Zante currants, similar to black raisins.
Zante currants are a type of raisin made from Black Corinth grapes, which is a small, seedless variety. This species of grape originated in Greece and there are records of the Black Corinth grape dating back to 75 A.D. Currants are the oldest type of raisin that we know of.
Like all raisin varieties, currants are sweet, but they’re more tart than black raisins. You can use currants in numerous recipes and they’re especially popular in baked goods. Since they’re dried, currants and other types of raisins have a long shelf life and they’re an excellent snack to have on hand.
What Are Raisins?
Raisins are a common pantry staple in many homes. Whether you have them on hand because your little ones love snacking on them or you use them in baked goods, there are many benefits to keeping your kitchen stocked with raisins.
While raisins are simply dried grapes, the name raisin often refers to the black raisin variety. Black raisins are made from large seedless grapes and are most commonly made with Thompson Seedless grapes. When these grapes are dried to make raisins, all the nutrients are concentrated. This not only makes raisins a nutritious snack, but it also makes them pretty dense in calories and sugar.
Some raisins are sun-dried while others are dried in a commercial dehydrator. Even though there are benefits to eating raisins, it’s best to consume them in moderation because of the high sugar content.
Raisins do have numerous health benefits because they’re high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They also have high amounts of fiber, which benefits your digestive system.
Even though there are several types of raisins, the most common type in the United States is the black raisin. You can find this type of raisin in nearly any store.
Which Is Healthier: Raisins or Currants?
When it comes to nutritional value, both raisins and currants have a lot in common. Both of these dried fruits have many benefits, but they’re also high in calories and sugar. Their nutritional values are similar because they’re both types of dried grapes. The main difference is that currants are slightly lower in calories.
The nutritional value of currants vs raisins is similar in most other areas. Both are high in fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins, but also high in calories and sugar. Whether you’re eating raisins or currants, it’s best to consume them in moderation.
Benefits of Raisins and Currants
Since raisins and currants are both types of dried grapes, they have a lot in common when it comes to their many health benefits. Here are some of the potential health benefits of eating raisins or currants:
Great Source of Fiber
Currants and raisins are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are essential for a healthy diet and healthy digestive system. One small box of raisins can provide you with 6% of your daily value of fiber. 100 grams of raisins, which is about half a cup, has anywhere from 3-4.5 grams of fiber. However, this amount of raisins has over 60 grams of sugar as well.
Great Source of Potassium
Potassium is another essential nutrient that raisins and currants provide. This nutrient is essential to help your blood pressure stay under control. It also helps your muscles function properly and helps to maintain the right amount of fluid in your body.
Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is an important part of your overall health. Studies have shown that when you consume raisins on a regular basis, they’re good for your heart health and they may reduce the risk of glycemia as well.
Choosing Between Raisins and Currants
Whether you’re looking for a sweet, healthy snack or an ingredient to add to cookies or scones, both raisins and currants are great to keep on hand. Raisins and currants are both delicious versions of dried grapes.
While currants and raisins have a lot in common, the main difference between them is the type of grape they come from. Currant is also the name of a type of berry, but they're not common in the United States. If you haven’t tried currants before, expect them to be smaller in size and a bit more tart than black raisins.
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