We would never think that raisins could inspire such strong feelings of loathing or disgust, but they do! Just try bringing the subject up at your next dinner party, and you'll see how incredibly divisive this little dried fruit can be! Where do you stand?
There can definitely be a wide discrepancy in raisin quality - perhaps this is the source of people's vehemence on the subject? I think we can all agree that a dry, leathery husks of old raisins brings no one great joy. But when they're very fresh and plump, chewy and full of flavor, raisins are a wonderful thing.
Don't forget that dry raisins can also be re-plumped before being used. All you need to do is cover the raisins with a little warm water or liquor and let them sit for a few minutes. They'll get juicy very quickly, and the soaking water can be used as additional flavoring in whatever you're making.
Personally, I'm crazy about all fruits and adore raisins. I'll eat a handful for a snack or mix them into my morning granola. I pack cookies and muffins with them - the more the merrier! I'm not as big of a fan of raisins in savory dishes, though. It's sometimes done well, but mostly I find it rather off-putting to get a bit of sweet fruit flavor in combination with seared meats or rich sauces. But that's just me!
Do you like raisins? What's your favorite kind?
Related: Watch Out! Dangerously Addictive Olive Oil Granola!
(Image: Flickr member lara604 licensed under Creative Commons)