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"dried sweet grape," c.1300, from Anglo-French raycin (late 13c.), Old French raisin "grape; raisin," from Vulgar Latin *racimus, alteration of Latin racemus "cluster of grapes or berries" (also source of Spanish racimo, Italian racemo), probably from the same ancient lost Mediterranean language that gave Greek rhax (genitive rhagos) "grape, berry." Dutch razun also is from French; German Rosine is from an Old French variant form.
dried fruit of certain varieties of grape. Raisin grapes were grown as early as 2000 BC in Persia and Egypt, and dried grapes are mentioned in the Bible (Numbers 6:3) during the time of Moses. David (Israel's future king) was presented with "a hundred clusters of raisins" (1 Samuel 25:18), probably sometime during the period 1110-1070 BC. Early Greeks and Romans adorned places of worship with raisins, and they were awarded as prizes in sporting events. Until the 20th century the chief raisin producers were Turkey, Iran, and Greece; by mid-century the United States had taken the lead in production, with Australia ranking second. The U.S. raisin industry is located entirely in California, where the first raisin grapes were planted in 1851.