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Sultanas vs. Currants — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Published on February 8, 2024
Sultanas are dried white grapes, often seedless, while currants are dried small, dark grapes, derived from the Black Corinth variety.
Sultanas vs. Currants — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sultanas and Currants


Key Differences

Sultanas are a type of dried grape, specifically from the seedless varieties of the white grape family, known for their sweet and juicy flavor profile. Currants, on the other hand, are dried small Black Corinth grapes, characterized by a more intense, tangy flavor. Both are popular in cooking and baking for their distinct tastes and textures.
While sultanas are typically larger and lighter in color, with a golden hue, currants are smaller, darker, and have a more concentrated sweetness. This difference in size and taste makes sultanas and currants suitable for various culinary uses, from sweet breads to savory dishes.
In terms of origin, sultanas mainly come from white grape varieties grown in Turkey, Australia, and the USA, whereas currants have a more specific origin, primarily from the regions around Greece. This geographical difference influences the availability and usage of these dried fruits in different cuisines.
Nutritionally, both sultanas and currants offer benefits, including fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, but their nutritional profiles differ slightly due to their distinct origins and grape varieties. This makes each of them uniquely valuable in a health-conscious diet.
In the culinary world, sultanas are often used to add sweetness and texture to baked goods, cereals, and snacks, while currants, with their stronger flavor, are preferred in richer pastries, sauces, and as a garnish in various dishes, highlighting the versatility of both ingredients in cooking.

Comparison Chart


Derived from various seedless white grape varieties.
Derived from small Black Corinth grapes.


Generally larger and plumper.
Smaller and more compact.


Lighter, golden yellow.
Darker, ranging from deep purple to black.


Sweeter and less tart.
Tangier and with a more intense sweetness.

Use in Cooking

Often used in lighter baked goods and cereals.
Preferred in rich pastries and as a garnish.

Compare with Definitions


Dried seedless white grapes, known for their sweet, juicy flavor.
I sprinkled sultanas over my morning oatmeal for a burst of natural sweetness.


Used to add depth and tartness to savory sauces and dishes.
The currants added an unexpected but welcome tartness to the sauce.


Commonly used in festive dishes and desserts for their golden color and sweetness.
For the holiday stuffing, I added sultanas to give it a sweet twist.


A traditional ingredient in many European pastries and confections.
Currants are essential for an authentic taste in traditional scones.


Often found in cereals and snack mixes for a touch of natural sugar.
My favorite trail mix includes almonds, seeds, and juicy sultanas.


Tiny dried grapes with a tangy-sweet flavor, used in baking and cooking.
I scattered currants through the cake mix for little bursts of tanginess.


A popular ingredient in baked goods, adding moisture and sweetness.
The sultanas in the bread dough added a delightful chewiness to the final loaf.


Known for their rich color and intense flavor, ideal for decorative garnishes.
The dessert was topped with a sprinkle of currants for a pop of color and flavor.


Can be rehydrated in liquid to plump up, enhancing their flavor in cooked dishes.
I soaked the sultanas in rum before adding them to the cake batter for extra flavor.


Often soaked in spirits or spiced syrups to enhance their natural flavors.
For the pudding, I soaked currants in brandy to infuse them with warmth and spice.


The wife, mother, sister, or daughter of a sultan.


Any of various deciduous, spineless shrubs of the genus Ribes, native chiefly to the Northern Hemisphere and having flowers in racemes and edible red, black, or white berries.


The mistress of a sultan.


The fruits of any of these plants, used for jams, jellies, desserts, or beverages.


Any of various green seedless grapes, especially the Thompson seedless, used in producing raisins and a white wine.


A small seedless raisin of the Mediterranean region, used chiefly in baking.


The often yellow raisin made from this grape.


Any of several other plants or their fruit.


Plural of sultana


Plural of currant

Common Curiosities

What are currants?

Currants are dried, small Black Corinth grapes, noted for their tangy and intense flavor.

Where do currants originate from?

Currants mainly come from the regions around Greece, from the specific Black Corinth grape.

What are the common uses of currants in cooking?

Currants are often used in pastries, sauces, and as garnishes for their rich flavor and decorative appeal.

How do sultanas differ in taste from currants?

Sultanas are generally sweeter and less tart than currants, which have a more intense sweetness and tanginess.

Can sultanas and currants be used interchangeably in recipes?

While they can be substituted for each other, their distinct tastes and sizes can affect the recipe's flavor and texture.

Where do sultanas originate from?

Sultanas are primarily produced from grape varieties in Turkey, Australia, and the USA.

Are sultanas and currants nutritious?

Both are nutritious, offering fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, though their nutritional profiles vary slightly.

How do the textures of sultanas and currants compare?

Sultanas tend to be plumper and softer, while currants are smaller and can be more dense and chewy.

What are sultanas?

Sultanas are dried white grapes, often seedless, known for their sweet and juicy taste.

Do currants always come from the Black Corinth grape?

Yes, true currants are specifically dried Black Corinth grapes, distinct from other small dried fruits.

What are the common uses of sultanas in cooking?

Sultanas are widely used in baked goods, cereals, and snacks for added sweetness and moisture.

How should sultanas and currants be stored for freshness?

Both should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Are sultanas always seedless?

Sultanas are typically seedless, making them a convenient addition to many recipes.

Can dried currants and fresh currants be used interchangeably?

Dried currants and fresh currants (which are actually berries) are quite different and not typically interchangeable in recipes due to their differing flavors and textures.

Can sultanas and currants be added to savory dishes?

Yes, both can be added to savory dishes, with currants providing a tangy contrast and sultanas adding sweetness.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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