Raisins and other dried fruits are truly versatile foods. They are a culinary staple and a kitchen larder must-have ingredient. Eaten raw, they are a healthy snack and an essential muesli component. However, commercially made raisins tend to have extended shelf lives and can sometimes be texturally dry and lack flavour.
On a visit to New Amsterdam Market’s June market , I discovered a New York City-based company called Little Wrinkles that uses high quality, seasonal fruit and small batch production to create succulent, flavourful raisins.
Little Wrinkles is the brainchild of Stephanie Venetsky and Jose Alba, who are chefs at a lower Manhattan private elementary school. The idea behind creating their homemade raisins came about when Jose was trying to find ways of using leftover fresh grapes in a way that was tasty and nutritious for the children. He decided to try to make raisins by gently oven-drying grapes. The resulting raisins were the best raisins that he’d ever had and the kids loved them too. This inspired Stephanie and Jose to set up a business to share their delicious discovery with the public, and Little Wrinkles was born.
Other than their freshness, another thing that differentiates Little Wrinkles raisins from standard store cupboard ones is that they are available in several distinctly flavoured varieties to reflect the source grapes that they are made from, such as muscat and globe.
Stephanie and Jose have further extended their range of products beyond the humble raisin and also produce seasonal dried fruits using fresh fruits sourced from local farms. Here is a selection of some of their raisins and dried fruit.
Aside from their delicious dried fruits, Little Wrinkles also produce an ultra-healthy, vibrant drink in the form of turmeric iced tea which is a refreshing combination of fresh turmeric root, root ginger, citrus, local honey and cardamom.
I spoke to Stephanie about Little Wrinkles and their amazing produce. You can hear the interview in full by clicking on the play button below.