The Simple Trick To Turn Raisins Into A Gourmet Ingredient

Cilantro. Olives. Blue cheese. What do these ingredients have in common? They are, many of us would agree, love-'em-or-hate-'em foods. While there are some among us who just can't get enough pico de gallo salsa, dirty martinis, or blue cheese dip, others harbor deep distaste for these very same dishes.

There are many other foods one could add to that list, but one of those is definitely raisins. The dried version, of course, of grapes, lovers of raisins appreciate their sweetness and chewiness, qualities that the dried fruits bring to a myriad of bread, cookies, and savory dishes such as braised chicken thighs and Italian-American braciole. Haters, meanwhile, will say that raisins far too often take the place of something more delicious — say, of chocolate chips in a cookie — and that they're very hard to pick out of food that's been tainted with them, whether it's a scone or a salad.

If you belong to the raisin-loving camp, then you'll want to read on to learn a simple tip for making them even more irresistible. And if you think you don't like them, watch out, because you might just become a convert.

Frying raisins in butter makes them even more delicious

Have you ever noticed how frying anything in butter makes that food way tastier? Well, raisins are certainly no exception, and if you've never tried frying dried fruit in a good quantity of this rich dairy ingredient, then you're missing out. When fried in butter, raisins start to rehydrate in the liquid of the melted butter, becoming soft and plump — a quality that can be especially welcome when your box of raisins is particularly old and the fruit has become hard and dry. 

Their sweetness becomes gentler, as the sugars aren't so concentrated, and the butter-slicked, soft raisins become even more welcome in a variety of dishes, whether they're heaped atop a savory ricotta toast, folded into roasted vegetables such as eggplant or zucchini, or simply spoon into a mundane bowl of morning oatmeal. So, the next time you're feeling less-than-enthusiastic about raisins, bathe them in warm, glistening butter and see how you feel about them after that.