Champion of the raisin cause


How do you like them grapes?

Veronica Sirotic | Cavalier Daily

RAISINS. The wrinkly old relatives of grapes. Do you like grapes? Plump, juicy, round, delicious grapes? Well then you’d love a dried out, shriveled up version of them! That is what raisins are. (How do you like them grapes? Ha-ha! No? Okay.) You know those commercials about the dangers of smoking, that have the voice over of the guy who’s a smoker, and they show the pictures of what they looked like when they were young, then at the end of the commercial you see them now and they look just terrible, and their skin is loose and wrinkled but they’re only 45 years old or something? Well raisins are pretty disgusting. I mean, who even thought of raisins? Who thought to take a grape, this round, purple fruit, and then squeezed all the life and goodness out of it and only then ate it? Who thought, “This grape thing is good, but what would really make it great is if it were a lot smaller, and a lot less plump and juicy?” I don’t know.

And why raisins? Who came up with that name? Well apparently, the name dates back to Middle English and was originally borrowed from Old French. But get this, today, the word “raisin” in French means “grape.” And the word for raisin is “raisin sec” which literally means “dried grape.” And honestly that makes more sense than just calling it the word for grape in French. So we have raisins. They’re a thing. And for better or worse, it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere any time soon.

Now let’s talk trail mix. The only place I can really even tolerate raisins is in trail mix, and even then I’m not happy about it. But I’m not about to pick all the raisins out of my trail mix because what do I do with them after that? Throw them away? Or what, do I give them to someone? “Hey! Could I interest you in a sweaty handful of dried up grapes?” And while we’re at it, let’s just address how raisins came to be in trail mix to begin with. I guess people were just hiking and thought, “You know what would really hit the spot? Some nuts.” But of course you can’t just have a handful of nuts without mixing in some M&M’s. And then raisins? I guess? They say the greatest discoveries are made by accident. Well I can’t imagine why anybody would intentionally leave a grape out to dry, and then still want to eat it afterwards — let alone mix it with nuts and M&M’s and take it with them to eat on a hike.

Look, I’m not trying to start a national dialog here about the pros and cons of raisins, but if it happens it happens. Does that make me a hero? Probably not. A hero of sorts? Arguably. All I’m saying is that I won’t stop anybody from calling me the “Champion of the Raisin Cause,” or some similar nickname. I’m not trying to take a stance. I’m not trying to change anyone’s minds on raisins. Or even those yogurt-covered raisins. Or even the Sun-Maid monopoly on the raisin market. Raisins are a thing. And they are a thing that exists. Thank you.

Jess Miller is an Humor columnist. He may be reached at

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