National Raisin Week

The first week of May is designated National Raisin Week. Many of us have less than fond memories of raisins, mostly because of the little red boxes put in lunch pails. In them, all the raisins seemed dry and tough and stuck together, and very difficult to get out of the box. As I’ve gotten older and bought raisins in other containers, I’ve become much fonder of them and other dried fruit. However, someone has called raisins “worried grapes,” because of the wrinkles, which made me laugh.

According to the California raisins website, “the word raisin is from the Latin word racemus which means a cluster of grapes or berries. History indicates that raisins were discovered for the first time by accident when they were found in the dried form on vines as early as 2000 BC.” The Britannica on-line declares “dried grapes are mentioned in the Bible (Numbers 6:3) during the time of Moses. David (Israel’s future king) was presented with “a hundred clusters of raisins” (1 Samuel 25:18), probably sometime during the period 1110–1070 bc. Early Greeks and Romans adorned places of worship with raisins, and they were awarded as prizes in sporting events.” So raisins used to be much more valued than today. Some even say they were used as money in Roman times.

The term current, which is sometimes used interchangeably, is thought to be a corruption of Corinth, where grapes were grown in ancient times.

It’s easy to make your own raisins, simply using a dehydrator or the sun to dry seedless grapes, but it isn’t very cost effective. Still people who do so declare home dried raisins are far superior to the ones purchased in the store.

Some of us are old enough to remember the California Raisins commercial “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” You can find it on You Tube at There are also more serious versions of the song there by Marvin Gaye and Credence Clearwater Revival.


There aren’t a lot of quotations about raisins, but here are a few.

There is a play by Lorraine Hansberry called A Raisin in the Sun, which comes from a poem by Langston Hughes called Harlem. It begins:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?

This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.–Dorothy Parker

Raisins are healthy, and they are inexpensive, and some people may even find them delicious. But they are rarely considered helpful.–Lemony Snicket (The Miserable Mill)

If there are occasions when my grape turned into a raisin and my joy bell lost its resonance, please forgive me. Charge it to my head and not to my heart.–Jesse Jackson

I am a picky eater. By that I mean, I love to pick the raisins out of oatmeal raisin cookies, the chips out of chocolate chip cookies, the white side off of black and white cookies, and the vanilla center out of Oreos.–Dylan Lauren

Every box of raisins is a tragic tale of grapes that could have been wine.–Unknown

Anything with raisins in it would be 10 times better with chocolate chips instead. For example: a box of raisins.–Unknown (a card on the Internet)

Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the main reason I have trust issues.–someone called Abby

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at


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