The Reason Ina Garten Loves Golden Raisins For Baking

Raisins bring out a lot of emotions for people. According to the New York Post, Howie Mandel runs the other way if raisins are in a dish. And journalist Judd Legum weighed in on BuzzFeed's food fight on Twitter over raisins in cookies, and he, too, is anti-raisin. Per Huff Post, this food can be very "polarizing" with those who are fans of this dried-up and wrinkly fruit feeling ashamed to admit they enjoy noshing on them — let alone cooking with them. 

Epicurious concurs, raisins can spark some spirited debates. Do they belong in your oatmeal cookies and carrot cakes? Or can raisins add that sweetness that your bowl of oatmeal or handful of granola requires? Those answers might be a matter of preference, but the vast majority of the food editors Huff Post surveyed say these babies should have a spot in your pantry and in your recipes — and they aren't alone in their convictions. Ina Garten is also a fan of the raisin. But when it comes to this ingredient, she embraces the less controversial golden version. 

What is it about the golden raisin that makes it superior to regular raisins and keeps Garten reaching for them? 

Golden and sweet

On an episode of the "Barefoot Contessa," Ina Garten revealed she likes golden raisins because they are a "little sweeter" than regular raisins and they look "great" in the apple spice cake she was making. Garten is definitely a fan of the golden variety of this dried fruit: She uses them in her Brussels Sprouts Lardons as well as her Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins

But what makes these golden raisins so palatable?

According to Epicurious, golden raisins are dried in a manner that differs from that of regular raisins where there is greater control over the temperature and humidity. The food site says this is why they agree with writer Harold McGee when he states, "The result is a much fruitier, lighter flavor." As it turns out, golden raisins are also a little healthier in that they have more flavonoids. As Healthline explains, flavonoids are naturally occurring in foods and serve as a powerhouse of antioxidants to help your body get rid of toxins. 

So, the next time you are worried raisin haters will shun your oatmeal raisin cookies, try using the golden variety. It might be the sweet difference that changes your raisin game.