Food & Drink

A Raisin Roundtable: Exploring America's Love/Hate For This Controversial Snack

There are some places raisins just don't belong.

Last week on HuffPost Taste, what started as a simple conversation about oatmeal cookies quickly turned into a heated discussion on the merits of raisins. Where do they belong, when are they totally out of line, and are they ever appropriate in carrot cake? Raisins are polarizing, and for good reason. Dried, shriveled grapes don't sound like the most appetizing of foods, and they have a tendency to ruin a good thing (like a perfectly delicious oatmeal cookie, depending on who you're talking to).

Since not everyone shares the same aversion to raisins in oatmeal cookies, we decided to open the topic up for a veritable raisin roundtable. We posed the issue to a collection of food editors from publications like Bon Appetit and Thrillist, and the results were quite surprising.

While raisins get a bad rap, it turns out that most of the food editors we asked are pro raisin. Eighty-eight percent of the editors we asked are team raisin. Sadly, many members of team raisin are there reluctantly. Raisin lovers, it would appear, have been forced to feel ashamed of their preference for this ugly little fruit. We're pulling the veil down for raisin lovers everywhere: You are not alone!

Executive Food Editor at The Huffington Post, Kristen Aiken, believes:
"Raisins are wrinkly like your thumbs after you've been in the bath for too long. Yes, sometimes they are extremely booger-like. Aside from their wonderful sweetness and chewiness, their most redeeming quality is the ability to remind you of your grandma and make you feel like you're having a wholesome moment in the midst of your ridiculous life."

In other words, raisins = grandmothers.

Associate HuffPost Lifestyle Editor Carly Ledbetter sees raisins a different way:
"I have NO idea why raisins exist. If you're a fan of raisins then we can be friends, but not best friends."

Dawn Perry, the Digital Food Editor for Bon Appetit, believes:
"There are no bad raisins, just bad raisin-owners/users," which leads us to the following conclusion.

Ultimately, there's a time and place for raisins. They're best when eaten with a given food, and of course they're only welcome in certain cases. While they may be acruel joke when handed out at Halloween, they can transform a rice pudding or noodle kugel from mediocre to outstanding (or something...).

Based on the responses of our food editor friends, here's how many people think raisins belong in the following foods:

Granola: 100% *** WINNER ***
Rice Pudding: 88%
Oatmeal Cookies: 77%
Bread: 77%
Oatmeal: 77%
Bread Pudding: 66%
Noodle Kugel: 55%
Tagines: 44%
Carrot Cake: 22%
Chicken Salad: 11% (although grapes were noted as welcome)

What do you think? Where do raisins belong and where are they not welcome? Let us know in the comments, tweet at us at HuffPostTaste or leave a comment for us on Instagram.

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Before You Go

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