Term for extremely dried grapes, derived from the Old French term "roisin" (grape berry). They are divided into Zibeben (large berries with seeds and thick skin), currants (small, dark, seedless berries) and sultanas (light, seedless berries). The names are also derived from the grape varieties often used in the process: Korinthiaki, Muscat d'Alexandrie (Cibebe) and Sultana. Sultanas are among the oldest preserved foods of mankind. Especially during military campaigns, many Arab and Asian peoples liked to use sultanas as nutritious and long-lasting provisions for their soldiers. The Carthaginian commander Hannibal (247-183 B.C.) is said to have used raisins as the main source of provisions for his troops during his march on Rome across the Alps. Writings found in Egypt document the production of sultanas as far back as at least 3,000 BC, and they are also mentioned several times in the Bible. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) reported that black currants were seedless.
I have great respect for the scope and quality of the wein.plus encyclopaedia. It is a unique place to go for crisp, sound information on terms from the world of wine.Dr. Edgar Müller
Dozent, Önologe und Weinbauberater, Bad Kreuznach