Product Review: SunMaid Chili Spiced Golden Raisins

My parents were out visiting us here in sunny Southern California last weekend, which means we went to Costco on the daily, at every stop we went to (what can I say, my parents love a Costco!).  After the first few trips of eying these chili spiced golden raisins, we finally broke down and bought a pack – which, my friends, was the right move.

Ever since moving to Southern California 4 years ago, I’ve learned to love the flavors of chili, salt, and lime on fruit.  While this was very much not an East Coast flavor that I grew up with, I’ve learned to love it during my time here, and will even make a plate of watermelon with Tajin or snack on some jicama with lime, salt, and chili powder.  Golden raisins with chili spice seemed like a totally natural (and totally delicious) take on the classic fruit with Tajin combo, and I’m very pleased to report that these raisins are absolutely delicious.

I love a golden raisin, although honestly, I don’t buy them that often as they are not really a go-to snack.  If I do have them on hand, I definitely enjoy them, and have used them before as an addition to couscous and slaw.  Golden raisins seem sweeter and more plump than the classic, dry raisins that you would find in cereal.  They are really pretty too, truly golden!  I think the golden raisin is an ideal candidate for the chili-spiced treatment – the sweet fruitiness holds up well to the spice, and the golden color shines through the deep red speckles of the guajillo and cayenne peppers used in the seasoning.

The overall flavor of these raisins are really good – sweet from the raisins, a slight (but very pleasant) heat from the chili peppers, and a slight tang from dried lemon and tamarind.  These aren’t at all salty (which I think is the right move), and they are balanced very well in flavor.  The texture is typical of a golden raisin, nice and plump and not overly dry or chewy.  A great, flavorful, and relatively healthy snack (high sugar due to raisins, but overall full of plant-based nutrition), I’ve been really enjoying these by the handful every day.

These raisins are perfectly snackable, and they are really great as-is.  I have also been mixing these into a trail mix that I take into work with me for my mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack, as they add a surprisingly fun, spicy bite every so often.  These actually go well with cheese (the spice is not at all overpowering), and I think it could be interesting to try to cook with them as well (oatmeal cookies with spicy raisins, anyone?).  As a snack, they are perfect on their own, and work well with other foods.

So, if you see these at your local Costco, give them a try!  They are currently only available in California Costco stores, but they may have a wider reach in the future!  Let me know if you’ve tried these or if you found them at another store in the comments, and let me know how you used them!

This post was not sponsored by SunMaid, and I bought these with my own money.  Just some kind words from a fan!

Happy snacking, friends!

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