The Good: Nutritious, Generally flavorful
The Bad: Slightly sour, Proportionately expensive
The Basics: A good snack, Craisins Original Dried Cranberries snack are a good alternative for raisins for those looking for something flavorful.
This last summer, my wife and I made a few trips to the New York State Fair. There, we made a point of stopping by the Ocean Spray booth where the company had a presence. In addition to having a little cranberry bog that the company brought with them, Ocean Spray brought boxes and boxes of Craisins. I managed to get a whole load of the samples and while I cannot review the various drinks I tried there, I have plenty of Craisins to review!
The first of those is the Original Craisins.
Craisins, for those who are not familiar with them, are dried cranberries. Yes, Ocean Spray was clever: cranberry + raisins = Craisins. The Original flavor Craisins are exactly what they appear to be, cranberries that have been dehydrated. There are other flavors, but the Original flavor are just cranberry flavored.
Craisins come in various sizes, but always in sealed foil packs. The larger packs have zipper packs that allow them to be sealed in for freshness. The serving size is one ounce, which is at least fifty Craisins. The Original Craisins can be used in pretty much any recipe that raisins are required for as they react almost identically to raisins. If acidity is an issue in the diet or recipe, be sure to confirm that Craisins will work instead as these are a bit more acidic than raisins.
Ease Of Preparation
Original Craisins are simple to use. Simply open the bag and remove them from it! There is no trick to eating Craisins; they are a snack that is ready to go from the bag to the mouth.
Craisins smell like cranberries and when one opens the bag of them. The scent is distinctive and slightly acidic.
Each of the little maroon Craisins is bursting with flavor. When one puts a Craisin on the tongue, the flavor of cranberries erupts. What is most fascinating about the Craisins is that there cranberry is a pretty dry-flavored fruit to begin with, so there is nothing lacking when one tries the Craisin. Instead, this tastes just like a cranberry because cranberries are not usually bursting forth with juice. This, of course, leads to the question of "what's the point?" To which, the answer can only be that Craisins are more portable and have a longer shelf life than actual cranberries. But for those concerned that Craisins would be a taste letdown, they are anything but.
In fact, Craisins are a little sweeter than actual cranberries, which makes them more palatable than actual cranberries. With their sourness cut some in the initial taste, the aftertaste bowls the consumer over for the bulk of the flavor and that works wonderfully with Craisins!
Craisins are an all natural snack, with no artificial preservatives. Given that the ingredients are only cranberries and sugar, there is nothing hiding in them that will surprise consumers. These have a shelf life of approximately one year, so it's not a bad food or snack to stock up on.
Each one ounce serving of Original Craisins has 100 calories, none of which come from fat. There are also 23 grams of dietary fiber. Outside that, there are no significant nutrients in a serving. This surprised me, as I figured there would be vitamins, but the packaging does not indicate any vitamins in this treat! As a result, this is a snack that is not at all bad for consumers, but not exactly bursting with nutrients for them either.
Kept in their bag, Craisins will remain fresh for a year and as long as the bag is resealed, one suspects they will last that long anyway. Because I've been getting them from the terribly unenvironmental sample packs, I've never had to deal with issues of freshness for my Craisins.
Cleanup is simple as well. Craisins are a dry food and thus leave no mess behind. Simply toss out the foil bag and cleanup is done!
Craisins are a good snack that is not bad for, nor as super great for consumers as one might hope. On an interesting note, my cat, Gollum, enjoys them with me and whenever I open a bag, he is right there trying to get some to eat. Gollum has good taste. I tend to agree with eating these and using them in muffins, on cereal and in other recipes, but truth be told, they are a pretty average snack. There are other flavors of Craisins that are more flavorful, but Craisins offer a decent baseline for the snack!
For other foods, check out my reviews of:
Jell-O Chocolate Fudge Pudding
Yancey's Fancy Wasabi Horseradish Cheddar
Hershey's Kisses Irish Creme
For other food and drink reviews, please click here to visit my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.