Rotten Raisins

Disgusting Raisins contaminating my otherwise perfect strawberry pastry.

While I have a tremendous passion for food, it isn’t all loving. It was recently brought to my attention that you can just as forcefully write about the foods you loathe and despise as you can about the foods you love and adore. My interest was immediately piqued.

Write about my food loathings? Those utterly despicable items that occasionally make their way onto my plate and (gasp!) onto my palate? I am fiercely adamant about my food dislikes and feel fully justified in attacking them with full-on verbal (and written) assault. So, the questions is, where to begin?

I’ll tell you one ingredient you will never, ever see in my recipes – Raisins. Why? Because they are a disgusting abomination of what is otherwise a perfectly lovely and tasty food item. The texture of a raisin combined with its sickeningly sweet flavor are apropos to nothing. It is a food destroyer. You will never hear someone proclaim, “Raisins are my favorite food.” It is an impossibility. I’d say people who “like” raisins are really just tolerating raisins.

Oddly, I’ve found this trait is genetic. My immediate family, generally, does not like raisins. What can I say? We have genetically refined tastes. I felt further justified in this opinion when I visited the Bob’s Red Mill booth (one of my favorite whole grain producers) at a food blogging conference in Atlanta. The vendors made a quinoa salad for tasting. I saw little shriveled bits in the salad and with a scrunched-up nose asked, “Are those raisins?” I was happy to hear, “No, currants.” Totally acceptable. According to the Bob’s Red Mill employees Bob Moore, the founder of the company, despises raisins. At company potlucks new employees have to be forewarned not to bring any dish with raisins. It is taboo. YES! Now I love these products even more. Bob Moore is a very smart man with excellent taste.

I am not generally opposed to dried fruits, per se. I just have a particular dislike for the gruesome squishy texture and sugary sweetness of a dried grape. People ask, “What about Golden Raisins?” Seriously? Are you kidding me? Even worse. Any version of a raisin with the potential to be extra juicy and sweet makes me cringe. I find raisins, minimally acceptable, if they have been dried within an inch of their lives to near crunchiness. Not a bit of moisture left. But you pretty much have to leave a box of raisins open for months to achieve this result. Believe me, I’ve tried.

As a young child of the 80s, small boxes of raisins often haunted my Strawberry Shortcake lunch box. My mom doesn’t even like raisins, so I know she put them in there solely to terrorize me. I would pray that the raisins had become old and stale, so I could at least eat a few to fill my hungry belly. Rarely was that the case. I would hide the raisins in the pantry behind other snacks in a meager attempt to dissuade their appearance in my lunchbox. It never really worked. Raisins must be extra cheap (lord knows no one would buy them otherwise) because no matter how many times I said I didn’t like them, Mom would always buy more. (Again, purely for torture.)

In short, raisins are gross. Seriously. Want to ruin a salad? A bread? A dessert? A pastry? A life? Just add raisins.

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10 Comments

  1. Lauren says:

    Amen!!!! These lil buggers have ruined many foods that otherwise looked scrumptious

  2. Lancelot says:

    I love raisins and I feel terrible for the poor little things after reading this. Such a violent a malicious attack with words upon hapless little dried fruits warrants some kind of defense and since they have no voice of their own (as they are dried seed remnants), I feel it is my heavenly duty to defend these tasty little treats. Raisins are delicious little snacks that are not only a treat to the pallet, but also a very healthy little treat. It’s one thing to not like raisins, but to brutally slander their innocent existence serves no purpose other than to make them appear foul in the eyes of the public. People love raisins and if they didn’t they wouldn’t have made it so far in this world. Raisins rock and if you don’t believe me then I suggest you check out the California Raisins! Word to your raisins, yo.

    • Jes says:

      This makes me question your genetic makeup. I fear the same chromosomes that control your leanings towards raisins may also be those that pull you to the dark side. Sigh. What is a big sister to do?

  3. Tim says:

    Jessica, I had no idea that you were so vehemently against raisins. I mean, who doesn’t like raisins?

    Raisins improve the simplest to the most complex of breakfast food items, bagels, muffins, and an array of desserts. Even when disguised by being covered in chocolate or yogurt they shine through with their deliciousness. I declare your passionate declaration against them makes me suspect a hidden desire and ultimately love for the smallest (and one of the most nutritious) of the fruits.

    This being said if you really do hate raisins don’t worry, you live in a world where even raisin haters are loved, and loved you are!

  4. Cheryl says:

    I think the advice that you got to write about dislikes is incorrect. Many people love raisins (including me) and do not like their characters attacked so. Please do not do this. It makes me not want to read your page anymore and I already like you. I beg you to refrain from putting off your readers. Shhh, quiet disdain is possible.

  5. Mom says:

    My mother made me eat raisins as a child, and I didn’t like them either. I was told they were a “good source of Iron” over and over. I maybe used to like them a little, sorta…well not really. My mother bought them in mass quantities and they were always packed in our lunches. For the record, there were other things in Jessica’s lunchbox. The raisins were in there for nutritional purposes. She did not go hungry.

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    About the Author – Jes

    About the Author – Jes

    On this site I share my bottomless passion for good food, big adventures and green spaces. You can learn more about my wellness programming, cooking and gardening classes and Ayurvedic offerings here.

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