Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. Currants, also known as “Zante currants,” are tiny, dried grapes. They prefer damp, fertile but not waterlogged ground and are intolerant of drought. You will even find them in chutneys and curries making them, without a doubt, one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. To be classified as a currant, the bush must be in the genus Ribes. A sultana is a dried white grape, but of the seedless variety. When they are dried the result is a dark, dried fruit much like a currant, making it dense in texture and bursting with a sweet flavor. Also known as golden raisins, sultanas will absorb other flavors, but not as well as regular raisins. The berries tend to be thicker skinned than some others, with a higher acid level. currant definition: 1. a small, black dried grape without seeds, used especially in cakes: 2. a small, round fruit…. The grapes are dried to produce a black, shriveled, sweet, flavor-packed fruit. Although the bushes are winter hardy, frosts during the flowering period may adversely affect the yield and cold winds may restrict the number of flying insects visiting and pollinating the flowers. If they're not raisins, I think it's time for me to try them! Dried Zante grapes called dried currants are used as a snack food or in cereals, stuffings, muffins or other baked goods. Currant is a berry that you can find in different colors. These plants also have a strong will to live and have been known to propagate themselves from cuttings. Zante currants are the dried form of an ancient Greek grape variety properly called the Black Corinth, Vitis vinifera, the smallest of the seedless grapes. I've seen these things that look like giant black currants. Black currants are one of the best natural sources of vitamin C. They beat all citrus fruits combined, and during the times of World War II, this berry literally saved thousands of lives in Britain. Maybe you have blueberries? Dried currants make good decoration for gingerbread cookies, and are delicious stirred into scone dough. The U.S. ban on currants was put in place in 1911 out of concerns about a plant disease called white pine blister rust, which uses currants as an alternate host. • Currants are much darker and smaller than raisins. • Small golden color raisins are called sultanas. Currants are the freshest in June and July. In North America, several Native American groups ate the over 75 different currants native to the continent. They are used commonly in cakes and desserts. That means they store well and break down slower. I didn't read the jar and thought I was getting blackberry jam. Here is a summary of findings (alongside the references) for existing randomized controlled trials investigating the potential benefits of black currants in this area: It is believed that the name “currant” is a corruption of Corinth and might have originated when the raisins were first imported into the U.S. during the 1920s. Currant definition, a small seedless raisin, produced chiefly in California and in the Levant, and used in cookery and confectionery. Black currants are known to be muskier, so look for berries that are firm and plump. Planting is usually done in th… These berries also lend themselves well to savory dishes, because the tart flavor makes a strong contrast. Raisins (Image credit: Kelli Foster) Currants are the rarest variety of the three. Gardeners with less space sometimes train the bush to grow on trellises and other supports, creating a vine-like plant instead of a shrub. spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors. Raisin is a dry fruit that comes from dried grapes and is loved all over the world for its sweet and tart flavor. Raisins are dried white Moscatel grapes. There are two distinct fruits which are called currants: (1) the dried zante grape; like a raisin, it is used in baked goods and (2) a fresh tiny berry related to the gooseberry. The English word 'currant' has been used for this fruit only since 1550, taken from the fruit's resemblance to the dried currants of Greece, raisins made from a small seedless grape. The berries should be plump, glossy and a little bit firm when they are purchased, and they can be stored for as long as three days under refrigeration. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and Since the berries are about the same size as the raisins, the name currant was … The raisins can hold the flavor making the finished dish even tastier. When you’re picking out currants, look for ones that are bright in color, translucent, and firm. You will find them in many guises but they are the main players in both a Christmas cake or Christmas pudding, and mince pies would be nothing without them. What are Currants, dried? The common garden black currant is the favourite host of the blister rust. Raisins vs Currants • Currants have tart flavor, whereas raisins are sweet in flavor. Currants are glossy red or black berries that grow on thornless upright shrubs. Is this possible? After grapes undergo the drying process, they shrink in size and what you get is a nutrient-dense dried fruit that has more vitamins, minerals, fiber , and electrolytes than normal grapes. Currants and gooseberries are the chief agencies in the spread of the white-pine blister rust, a destructive disease of the five-leaved pines in Europe and America. Elaine Lemm is a renowned British food writer, classically trained chef, teacher, and author with over 25 years of experience writing about British food and cooking. Currants and raisins have both similarities and differences. The answer is no. I've always been told that currants were small raisins, and I can't stand raisins so I never tried currants. Currants are made by drying black or dark red seedless grapes. They came from the third largest Ionian Island called Zakýnthos, which is often called Zante. Black currants are a rich source of anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid polyphenol thought to benefit exercise performance and recovery . I have what I think are black currants growing wild on my property. Raisins, sultanas, and Zante currants are all sweet dried fruits that stem from different varieties of vine-grown grapes, while currants really are a fresh bush-grown berry that is tart rather than sweet. Currants, sultanas and raisins are small, sweet, dried fruits that come from different varieties of vine-grown grapes. just purchased a jar of currant jam. Grapes belong to the genus Vitus and Currants belong to the genus Ribes. The leaves look right, the fruit grows the same, same color, same little bit of ex flower on the bottom of the berry as a currant has, except they're large and very sweet. Currants contains lot of About three weeks of drying time is required for the grapes to become what is known as currants. It tastes very good. They are, in fact, very different and each brings their qualities to the baking party. It is also known as Corinthian raisins.In United States, currents are known as Zante currants.Sometimes, the word currant is also used to indicate any type of red, white, or blackberry from the gooseberry species of fruits. The word “currant” is a corruption of “Corinth”. Other names for currants are Zante currants, Corinth raisins, or Corinthian raisins. However, they are not tart like red currants, but rather quite sweet. Firstly, the currants talked about here are a dried fruit and should not be confused with soft fruit currants such as black currants. Currants are dark red and have a slightly chewy texture. Sultanas, raisins, and currants, despite their differences in appearance, taste, and texture, have more or less the same nutrition profile. Zante currants, Corinth raisins, or simply currants outside of the US, are raisins of the small, sweet, seedless grape cultivar Black Corinth (Vitis vinifera). It was believed that eradicating currants would help with the problem. Anon41597 - Blackcurrants are not sweet until cooked. Zante currants are more easy to find in stores than black currants. Currants are high in vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium and iron. For this reason, many Americans confuse Zante raisins with currants. Black currants are a bit smaller, sour, and are exceptionally high in antioxidants such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids, according to studies. These three are used extensively in traditional British and Irish cakes and puddings. They are dried, dark red, seedless grapes often called the Black Corinth grape. At that time, transporting fruits to the island was impossible. Are they simply the same thing but with just a different colored skin? Ostrich - Currents are similar to raisins but hey are sweeter and don't have as strong a taste as raisins. Currants (the raisin kind) traditionally came from Corinth, Greece which shipped small raisins (dried grapes) throughout Europe. Red currants are used to make pies, jams and more. The grapes are small and seedless. A pHof about 6 is ideal for blackcurrants and the ground can be limed if the soil is too acidic. Sultanas are golden in color and tend to be much plumper, sweeter, and altogether juicier than other raisins. The currants mentioned here are the dark, black currants popular in cakes. Currants, also called Zante currants or Black Corinth raisins, are dried berries that come from seedless Black Corinth grapes. Crusader black currants are a rust-resistant variety that consistently produces medium-sized fruit. The raisins are much smaller and more flavorful than conventional raisins, and they are a popular addition to currant cake and other slightly savory dessert items. Currents are black, red, or white. Currants are naturally dried like raisins, which gives them their dark color. Turkey is the main producer of sultanas. He also helped to breed varieties of currant that would be resistant to the parasitic white pine blister rust, demonstrating that these plants could be cultivated without threatening the U.S. timber industry. They are green on the inside. If you're talking about Zante Currants (often shortened to currants), they are in fact dried grapes (just a smaller grape). Crusader is resistant to white pine blister rust. A true currant grows in a shrub form and is extremely hardy. The main producers of the Moscatel grapes are the United States, Turkey, Greece, and Australia. The fresh, tart flavor is excellent in fresh fruit dishes and can be used to make jams and preserves. exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Join me on a Wild Herb Walk or a Wild Edible Plants class (check my Event calendar) and/or check out my book Wild Herb Card Decks. Currants have an intense, tart flavor. Firstly, the currants talked about here are a dried fruit and should not be confused with soft fruit currants such as black currants. Some recipes suggest plumping the dried currants before use. In the UK and Ireland, they are simply called currants. Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the So are they interchangeable? The currants mentioned here are the dark, black currants popular in cakes. True Black Currants are amazing! Quinn believed that currants could revitalize family farms in New York state by providing a source of income through a somewhat unusual berry. Fresh black, red, pink, or white currants, as well as dried black currants, can be enjoyed in various ways. Raisins have some phytonutrients, most notably boron but raisins contain fewer phenols than grapes since many of grape’s phenols are largely lost in the conversion of grapes to raisins through the grape drying process. In some places, the dried fruits sold at grocery stores as “currants” are actually dried Zante raisins from Greece. To the best of my knowledge the bushes still exist on the farm which was purchased and kept mostly the same since I was a child. The name currant comes from the ancient city of Corinth. Most climates are friendly to currants, which thrive under lower light conditions. In the United States, commercial cultivation of currants was banned until 2003 because of concerns that they could harbor a disease that had the potential to devastate American timber stocks. Saxifragaceae Common Names: Currant (English), Johannisbeere (German), Ribes (Danish, Swedish, Italian), Groseille (French), Bes (Flemish). They are dried, dark red, seedless grapes often called the Black Corinth grape. Currants are glossy red or black berries that grow on thornless upright shrubs. Currants are native to temperate regions across the globe, including North America, Asia and Europe. Blackcurrants can grow well on sandy or heavy loams, or forest soils, as long as their nutrient requirements are met. True black and red currants (different from Zante currants) tend to be tarter and grow on bushes rather than sultanas and raisins which grow on vines. Primm Springs, Tennessee. The tastiest wild currants I have eaten were orange fruited currants growing near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. You will find them in classic dishes like Spotted Dick or an Eccles cake. If you're talking about Blackcurrant (the fruit used to make Cassis), they are a berry from a shrub. The black ones are used for preserves, syrups and liqueurs; while the red and white berries are for … The red currant bush has lobed leaves and a rapid growth habit, maturing very quickly into a small shrub. My great-grandfather raised them and sold the berries in market (both red and white currants) since before my mother was born and until he died in 1982. Definitely not blueberries. Umid Mamadaminov / publicdomainpictures.net, Traditional British Christmas Cake Recipe, The 10 Best Fruitcakes to Order Online in 2021, Johannisbeeren and Schwarze Johannisbeeren - Red and Black Currant, British Christmas Cooking Questions Answered, Thai Fried Rice With Pineapple and Prawns. I also want to know what they are. Greg Quinn, a farmer in New York, helped overturn the ban in 2003 with the assistance of state lawmakers. As long as they are protected from a hard freeze with plenty of mulch around their roots, these plants will live to bear fruit year after year. Plus, if you add to the issue that different countries use different names, it can become even more confusing. Native to the Northern Hemisphere, these plants have been cultivated throughout Europe and Asia for centuries. The best time for currants is late spring through late summer. Moreover, they are essential ingredients in Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings. The name comes from the Anglo-French phrase "raisins de Corinthe" (grapes of Corinth) and the Ionian island of Zakynthos (Zante), which was once the major producer and exporter. CURRANTS Ribes spp. Dried currants are not related to the fresh berry also called a currant. Exactly like a very large sweet currant. So, currants were the only food source of this essential nutrient. They are also not as juicy. The grapes were originally cultivated in the south of Greece and more specifically, the island of Zante, hence the name Zante currant, used in the United States. The most common colors are black, red and white. Native to the Northern Hemisphere, these plants have been cultivated throughout Europe and Asia for centuries. Currant definition is - a small seedless raisin originally grown chiefly in the eastern Mediterranean. Black currant is also a plant that is used to make a therapeutic oil, derived from the leaves, fruit and flowers of the plant. They can be found at farmers’ markets and a few grocery stores from June through August. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. See more. With a sweet and bright acidic berry flavor, currants are delicious when eaten fresh. Currants are often used in freshly-baked scones, sprinkled over salads or stirred into a traditional hot cross bun recipe. You will find them in classic dishes like Spotted Dick or an Eccles cake. Currants, also called Zante currants or Black Corinth raisins, are dried berries that come from seedless Black Corinth grapes. Currants are dried Black Corinth or Carina grapes. Currants and raisins, along with close relative sultanas, are all naturally sweet dried fruits made from different varieties of raisins. To be classified as a currant, the bush must be in the genus Ribes . Yum! The plants also are used decoratively in some gardens. True currants are small berries that grow on shrubs and are more like gooseberries. Want to learn about more wild edible plants? Raisins can (unlike currants) soak up other flavors, which is why it is popular to soak raisins in flavored alcohols such as brandy or almond-flavored Amaretto before using in cooking. Learn more. It will be delicious on a hot biscuit. Subscribe to our newsletter and learn something new every day. The ribes currants should not be confused with the dried currant used in cakes and puddings, which is a small-fruited cultivar of grape, called Zante currant. What is Currants? 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