NATIONAL RAISIN DAY
April 30th recognizes another food holiday known as National Raisin Day. Raisins are tiny sundried grapes. While sunlight dries most grapes naturally in vineyards, some are mechanically dehydrated.
People have been enjoying raisins for as long as grapes have been growing. Raisins are naturally low in fat and contain healthy nutrients. California produces the majority of the world’s raisin supply.
Besides adding raisins to baked goods, you can also use raisins to make wine. Yes, grapes are used to make raisins AND wine. But in this case, we can make wine from raisins, too! So, technically, raisin day could be considered a wine day, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRaisinDay
You can also explore the history of raisin production, the people, and traditions. We’ve included some history from 1924 below, so keep reading!
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Use #NationalRaisinDay on social media to share your love for raisins!
NATIONAL RAISIN DAY HISTORY
The raisin growers of California promoted the first National Raisin Day in 1909. They advertised in papers on and on the radio, delivered flyers door to door leading up to the day. The advertisements included recipes, deals, and announcements reminding everyone to celebrate National Raisin Day on Friday, April 30th. When the day arrived, restaurants, dining cars, hotels, and steamships around the country included dishes featuring the dried fruit. Schools, local and state governments provided education and information about the quality of California raisins and their health benefits. What started slowly soon exploded into an annually celebrated event.
One of our subscribers provided family photos taken during the 1924 Raisin Day Parade in Fresno, California. June Eidson’s grandmother and great-grandmother were on another float in the parade. She writes:
“I first found it in one of the scrapbooks of Euphamia Sereptha Gilstrap Pemberton/William Frederick Pemberton’s, my great grandparents. She worked as a cook at various ranches throughout California while he was a ranch foreman for Miller & Lux, Estrella, Burrel, and others, and was the cattle inspector and headed the hoof/mouth eradication for Tuolumne County. They also had a store in Berenda with the only telephone in the area while their girls were in their teens.”
Ms. Eidson also added:
“This photo appeared again in their son-in-law’/my grandfather’s album, Archie Floyd Eidson. Floyd moved to California from Missouri as a child with his farming family and went to Chowchilla High School with ESP/WFP’s daughters (I have early class photos), marrying the youngest after graduation.”
In the February 20, 1924, The Fresno Bee, an article about the Raisin Day Parade Committee meeting, stressed that quality over quantity would be the goal for the 1924 parade. As you can see, the floats were indeed elaborate and eye-catching! Traditionally held in April, the parade was postponed that year due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease impacting livestock in California. On October 2, 1924, the spectacular parade was attended by thousands in Fresno.