Currants vs. Raisins

What's the Difference?

Currants and raisins are both dried fruits that are commonly used in cooking and baking. However, they differ in terms of their size, taste, and origin. Currants are small, dark berries that are native to Europe and have a tart and slightly sweet flavor. They are often used in baking, particularly in scones and cakes. On the other hand, raisins are dried grapes that come in various sizes and colors, such as golden, black, and red. They have a naturally sweet taste and are commonly used in desserts, trail mixes, and as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt. While both currants and raisins add a burst of flavor and texture to dishes, their distinct characteristics make them suitable for different culinary applications.


Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash
ColorDark red or blackDark brown or golden
SizeSmallerGenerally larger
TasteTart and tangySweet
OriginDerived from small, seedless grapesDerived from larger grapes
UsageCommonly used in baking and cookingCommonly used in baking, cooking, and as a snack
Moisture ContentHigher moisture contentLower moisture content
ProcessingDried naturally or mechanicallyDried naturally or mechanically
AvailabilityLess widely availableMore widely available
Photo by Jocelyn Morales on Unsplash

Further Detail


When it comes to dried fruits, currants and raisins are two popular options that often find their way into various culinary creations. While both currants and raisins are dried grapes, they differ in terms of their size, taste, and usage. In this article, we will delve into the attributes of currants and raisins, exploring their unique characteristics and highlighting the various ways they can be enjoyed.

Appearance and Size

Currants and raisins differ significantly in terms of their appearance and size. Currants are small, round berries that are typically black or dark red in color. They have a glossy exterior and are often mistaken for berries due to their diminutive size. On the other hand, raisins are larger and come in various colors, including golden, brown, and black. They have a wrinkled texture and are more elongated in shape compared to currants.

Taste and Flavor

When it comes to taste, currants and raisins also have distinct flavor profiles. Currants are known for their intense, sweet-tart taste that adds a burst of flavor to dishes. They have a slightly acidic note that complements both sweet and savory recipes. On the other hand, raisins have a naturally sweet taste with a hint of caramel-like richness. They offer a mellow sweetness that can enhance the overall flavor of baked goods, desserts, and even savory dishes like rice pilaf or tagines.

Types and Varieties

Both currants and raisins come in different types and varieties, each offering unique characteristics. Currants are primarily categorized into two types: Zante currants and red currants. Zante currants, also known as Corinthian raisins, are small, seedless currants that are dried from the Black Corinth grape variety. They are often used in baking, particularly in traditional recipes like scones, cakes, and cookies. Red currants, on the other hand, are fresh berries that are tart and tangy, commonly used in jams, jellies, and sauces.

Raisins, on the other hand, have a wider range of varieties. Golden raisins, also known as sultanas, are made from green grapes and have a milder flavor compared to other raisin varieties. They are often used in lighter desserts and salads. Thompson seedless raisins, the most common type, are made from green seedless grapes and have a sweet and tangy taste. They are versatile and can be used in a wide array of recipes. Lastly, there are also black raisins, which are made from darker grape varieties and have a stronger, more robust flavor. They are commonly used in rich desserts and savory dishes.

Usage in Cooking and Baking

Both currants and raisins have their own unique applications in cooking and baking. Currants are often used in traditional British recipes, such as Christmas pudding, scones, and Eccles cakes. Their small size and intense flavor make them ideal for incorporating into baked goods, adding bursts of sweetness and texture. Currants can also be used in savory dishes, like rice pilaf or couscous, to provide a touch of sweetness and complexity.

Raisins, on the other hand, are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of recipes. They are a popular addition to baked goods, including bread, cookies, muffins, and cakes, where they add moisture and natural sweetness. Raisins are also commonly used in trail mixes, granola bars, and breakfast cereals, providing a convenient and nutritious snack option. In savory cooking, raisins can be found in dishes like curries, tagines, and pilafs, where they contribute a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutritional value, both currants and raisins offer various health benefits. Currants are rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and minerals like iron and potassium.

Raisins, on the other hand, are packed with energy and are a concentrated source of natural sugars. They are also high in fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut. Raisins contain beneficial compounds like polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, they provide essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron.


In conclusion, while currants and raisins are both dried grapes, they differ significantly in terms of appearance, taste, and usage. Currants are small, round berries with an intense sweet-tart flavor, ideal for baking and adding a burst of flavor to various dishes. Raisins, on the other hand, are larger, sweeter, and more versatile, suitable for both sweet and savory recipes. Understanding the unique attributes of currants and raisins allows us to appreciate their distinct qualities and make informed choices when incorporating them into our culinary creations.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.