Saturday, September 11, 2010
Since grapes are in season and I still feel like dehydrating things is magic, I wanted to try making raisins.My first batch used the big black grapes I got from the FM on Saturday. They turned out well enough, I decided to check out the cost efficiency of the enterprise before making a ton of them.
I measured out 1 lb of grapes, washed them, and put them in the dehydrator. They took a lot longer than I thought they would - most of three days. They have a lot more flavor than store-bought raisins and I like the texture better too. I probably dried mine out a little more than commercial varieties so they're more chewy.
The cost evaluation did not turn out in their favor though. My 1 lb of grapes turned in to 4 oz of raisins. I bought local, non-organic grapes on sale at $1/lb. Costco sells 72 oz of Sun-Maid raisins for $6.45. 72 oz of my homemade raisins would cost me $18 plus the electricity to run the dehydrator and the effort it takes me to keep the Monkey from snitching for 3 days. The improved flavor and 'wonder' of doing them myself are totally not worth that to me. For future reference, if I can find grapes for 35cents per lb or less, I should buy 50 lbs of them and make raisins. It was a super fun experiment though.