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Name for extremely dried grapes, derived from the Old French term "Roisin" (raisin). They are divided into raisins (large berries with seeds and thick skin), currants (small, dark, seedless berries) and sultanas (light, seedless berries). The designations also derive from the grape varieties often used in this process, namely Corinthiaki, Muscat d'Alexandrie (Cibebe) and Sultana. Raisins are one of the oldest preserved foods known to man. Especially during military campaigns raisins were used by many Arab and Asian peoples as a nutritious and long-lasting food for the soldiers. The commander Hannibal (247-183 B.C.) from Carthage is said to have mainly used raisins to feed his troops during his march on Rome over the Alps. Writings found in Egypt prove that raisins were produced as early as 3,000 B.C. at least, and they are also often mentioned in the Bible. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) reports that black currants were seedless.

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