Q: "My wife and I are finding it hard to find good quality sultanas. I use them in my porridge, as an ingredient, and as a snack. Perhaps they are no longer sourced from Australia, but come from elsewhere – China? Do you know where we can find good ones?"Cyril
A: I talked to bulk bin supplier Alison's Pantry. They told me the cheaper sultanas you find in supermarkets are often from Turkey. These aren't as succulent as the Australian variety (which are used in the Alison's Pantry range). The difference is partly due to the way the sultanas are harvested. Australian fruit is vine-dried, then shaken onto special mats for collection. The Turkish product is dried on the ground.
It's also interesting to learn the fruit is only harvested once a year, so obviously the new season's fruit will be more plump and moist than fruit at the end of season. The 'new season's' crop should be in a bulk bin near you. The sultanas you've been buying recently may be the last from the old season.