If There Are Green Grapes, Are There Also Green Raisins?

If you had to describe the appearance of a raisin to someone, you'd probably say it's a small, wrinkled, dried-out, dark brown, bite-sized food. And to describe how they're made, you'd likely say they're dehydrated purple grapes. Dark grapes equal dark raisins, right? Seems logical. But contrary to what many people think, the common raisins that we eat in the United States are typically made from green grapes, not purple.

This might raise a number of new questions in your mind. Why are raisins brown if they come from green grapes? Since grapes come in multiple colors, shouldn't raisins also come in multiple colors? Are there green raisins anywhere? Raisins do, in fact, come in more than one color, just like grapes do, and yes, that includes green. They're just not common in the United States. It seems not everyone experiences this scarcity. When someone posted a similar question about the absence of green raisins in the U.S. on Reddit, a commenter mentioned that they buy boatloads of the dried fruit when visiting China.

Why do green grapes turn into brown raisins instead of green ones? The color differences stem primarily from how they're produced.

The dehydration process determines the raisin color

There are actually several different raisin varieties, but you won't find them at every grocery store. The options are even more limited at American grocery stores. In addition to the traditional dark brown-colored raisins, there are green, red-slash-flame, and golden (yellow) raisins. The grape dehydration method typically determines the color.

Jenny Friedman, a dietitian in Philadelphia, spoke with Time about raisins and mentioned how some of them get their color. "Traditional raisins are sun-dried and contain no additional preservatives or stabilizers; the process of air-drying is responsible for their brown color." The ones traditionally consumed in the U.S. are made from Thompson Seedless grapes, which are green.

RatinKhosh, a food ingredient company that specializes in dried fruits and nuts, says that green raisins are commonly found in Asia and the Middle East. The production process normally involves shade-drying grapes in a dark, well-ventilated room. Sulfur dioxide can also be used to stabilize the color. However, some product pages for green grapes describe them as sun-dried. Although you won't find them on many grocery store shelves in the U.S., people can order them online through the websites of stores like Kroger and Walmart.