The sultana grape (Vitis vinifera ‘sultanina’) is a cultivar of the common grape vine, Vitis vinifera. It is a small to medium-sized grape that is seedless and has a thin skin. The grapes are typically round and pale green to yellow in color. Sultana grapes are primarily used for making raisins and wine. They are grown in many parts of the world, including the United States, Australia, Turkey, Greece, and Iran.
Sultanas are a type of dried grape with a sweet and tangy taste, often used in baking and as a snack. In terms of nutritional value, they are high in carbohydrates, with 71.2 grams per 100 grams, and also contain a moderate amount of protein at 2.3 grams per 100 grams.
Sultanas are low in fat at just 0.5 grams per 100 grams and are also a good source of fiber, with 100 grams providing 3.7 grams of fiber. They are rich in several minerals, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Sultanas are also a good source of B vitamins, which are important for energy production, and contain antioxidants that help protect against free radical damage.
The sultana grape and its dried form, the sultana raisin, have a long history dating back to ancient times. The grape is believed to have originated in the Ottoman Empire, which encompassed present-day Turkey and parts of Greece and Iran. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by the Ottoman Empire and was traditionally imported from there.
The drying of grapes into raisins has been practiced since ancient times, with evidence of raisin production in Persia and Egypt as early as 2,000 BC. The ancient Romans also prized raisins, using them as currency and prizes, and incorporating them into their religious practices and feasts. From ancient Rome, the practice of drying grapes into raisins spread throughout the world.
In the 19th century, the San Joaquin Valley in California became a major producer of raisins, with the sultana grape, known there as Thompson Seedless, becoming the most widely-planted variety. According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, the names “sultana” and “Thompson Seedless” are synonymous.
Today, sultana grapes are cultivated in many parts of the world, including Turkey, Australia, Greece, and Iran. The sultana raisin is still a popular ingredient in baking and cooking and is enjoyed as a snack as well.
● Sultanas contain B vitamins known to boost energy, making them a good snack for a quick energy boost.
● They are high in calories which can be beneficial for people who need to gain weight or increase their caloric intake.
● Sultanas are a valuable strength-building food, making them ideal for those who are weak, emaciated, or anemic.
● The juice-soaked or stewed sultanas have been found to be a good remedy for sore throat, asthma, and cases of catarrh.
● Sultanas contain oleanolic acid, a phytonutrient that promotes good oral health by destroying the bacteria that cause cavities.
● They are rich in iron, which is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all body cells. Iron deficiency can cause weakness, bruising, sensitivity to colds, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and fatigue.
● Sultanas are high in fiber and tartaric acid, promoting digestive health and regularity. A diet rich in fiber helps lower the risk of colorectal cancer, and research finds that eating two servings (one cup) of raisins a day may help lower the risk of colon cancer.
● The minerals in sultanas, in conjunction with estrogen in women, help make bones stronger and ward off osteoporosis.
● They are rich in antioxidants that help protect our bodies against free radical damage.
● Sultanas can help prevent macular degeneration, an age-related progressive disease of the retina.
● They can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
● Look for sultanas that are plump, evenly colored, and free from mold and any signs of spoilage.
● Choose organic sultanas if possible to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.
● Check the packaging date and try to buy the freshest ones available.
● Store sultanas in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or moisture.
● Refrigerate them to extend their shelf life and maintain their quality.
● Avoid storing them near strong-smelling foods as they can easily absorb odors.
● Check them regularly for signs of spoilage and discard any that appear to be moldy or have an off smell or taste.
6-8 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
● In a large bowl, combine the grated carrots, sultanas, parsley, cilantro, and red onion.
● In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper until well combined.
● Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss to combine.
● Serve chilled or at room temperature.
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sultanas
1 can of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish