Region of Origin

Commodity:

Currant

Origin

Currants are a part of the genus Ribes (along with gooseberries) and are thought to have originated in central and eastern Europe and Asia. Food historians believe that by the middle of the 14th century, currants were a huge part of English cuisine, which eventually led to their spread to Germany and France. English settlers are thought to have introduced currants to the colonies in the 1690s, but...

Other Names

Johannisbeere (German), Groseille (French), Ribes (Swedish, Danish, Italian)

Health Benefits & Nutrition

Black currant seed oil contains a fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Some research suggests that GLA might improve the immune system, as well as have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Black currants and red currants also contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant. Currants are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

Varieties

Black Currant

Example Cultivars

Consort, Crusader, Titania

Description

With a striking, deep purple skin and pleasant musky aroma, black currants are slightly sweet and tart. They are larger and have thicker skin than red currants, but are still smaller than marbles.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Black currants can have a more pungent sweet-tart flavor, closer to blackberries, than a red currant. Black currants are usually processed into juices, prized for their tartness and medicinal benefits.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Red Currant

Example Cultivars

Rovada

Description

Red currants are beautiful, reddish-pink, shiny berries that have an intense tart-sweet taste with notes of rhubarb and rose. They are smaller in size and have thinner skin than black currants.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Red currants are excellent for drying or eating out of hand due to their thin skin.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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White Currant

Example Cultivars

Blanka

Description

White currants are a type of red currant that are very light pink to translucent white, depending on variety. The berry’s soft, pulpy flesh contains small edible seeds and has a juicy texture. White currants are sweeter than the red and black varieties and offer up a lingering sugary flavor.

Variety Tips & Tricks

White currants are hardest to find of all currants, and not often available! If they are available, use them in jams, jellies, cakes, etc.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

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Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Currants are often used in jams and jellies. They are extremely popular in Great Britain and the rest of Europe and are used in many applications, mainly juices.

Flavor Pairings

Yogurt, Peppers, Carrots, Pasta, Chicken, Kale, Veal, Strawberries, Melon, Almonds, Cream, Pears

How to Store & Use in the Kitchen

Unwashed currants should be stored in the refrigerator loosely wrapped between layers of towels. They should be removed from their stems prior to use (unless processing in a juicer). To make removal easier, freeze currants first. They can be used frozen as they would be fresh.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

Currants can be used across menu parts - from cocktails, to shrubs, to baked goods, to sauces. Extra fruit can be frozen for later use with little damage to taste or quality.

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

32-49°F

RECOMMENDED TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

32-39°F (Cold Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:

No

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

90-95%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

No

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

No

RIPENS AFTER HARVEST:

No - fruit does not ripen after harvest.

PROFESSIONAL RIPENING RECOMMENDED:

Not necessary.

Quality Assessment

Currants should be attached to their stems, firm, translucent, shiny, and vivid in color.

Important Handling Notes

Handle carefully – these berries can be bruised or damaged in transit! Do not keep near fruits or vegetables that have a strong scent, as they may become tainted with other smells.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, currants may last up to 1-2 weeks.

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