After months of trekking through mountains of USDA paperwork and FDA clearance, we finally managed to import these fruity little oddities to the great state of Minnesota. What are they? Well, we have a hard time calling them raisins… Instead we’ll call them dried grapes. Looking for dried plums? Oh, we have those too…
We found a stall highlighting Chilean dried fruits at the Fancy Food show last year, and were immediately drawn to these plump Red Globe grapes, that looked about as close to the fresh version as possible. They explained that they used a special low-heat drying process that preserves the integrity of the fruit, both in size and color, and in flavor and nutritional content. I had to stop myself from eating the entire display.
The texture is crispy on the outside, and chewy and yielding on the inside. Because Red Globe grapes are a seeded variety, they do have a few small crunchy seeds that would be difficult to pit, but the drying process renders them crunchy, nutty and completely edible. In flavor, they don’t have any of the mustiness of regular “raisins”, instead they are sugar sweet and juicy with a touch of acidity; just like the real thing, but with a more interesting texture.
We prefer to snack on raw ingredients out of hand and let you the chefs come up with interesting ways to use them. So far we’ve seen them re-hydrated, used in desserts, and thrown on cheese boards.