Currants – Worth Their Weight In Gold

I briefly mentioned currants in my recent post Pickin’ and Preserving and wanted to share my thoughts about this wonderful fruit. The following paragraphs were taken from a post I wrote last summer.

IMG_4282“You are a better person than I am,” my husband said to me as I was picking currants. “These berries are worth their weight in gold,” I told him. It has only been in the last year that I have come to really appreciate the value of currants. They are indeed a super food. In the past I have made currants into jelly and wine. Last summer I began making juice from them and found this to be like an energy drink. In order to preserve the vitamin C I make raw juice. I simply wash the berries then blend them, stems and all, with some water in my nutri bullet blender. I then pour the blend into a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  My husband likes the juice with nothing added, but I like to sweeten mine with a little bit of our raw honey. We have been drinking the juice regularly, but I have also been able to put some in the freezer.

Picking currants can be a long and monotonous chore, but currants are not something that I can just pick up at the grocery store, and if I was able to find them at a farmers market I’m sure they would be priced beyond my budget (have you checked the price of gold lately?).  Fortunately currants will stay ripe on the bush for quite a while so I can pick a quart or two a day and go back for more a day or two later. We also grow 4 different varieties which ripen at different rates, so while I am about finished picking two varieties, one variety is coming into it’s prime and the last one is just beginning to ripen.

I have had a couple of readers mention that they love currants and now I am curious. Have you ever had currants? Where do you get them? How to you eat/preserve them? I would love to hear from you.

16 thoughts on “Currants – Worth Their Weight In Gold

  1. When I was a kid, my grandmother tended to the currents in our garden. The red ones didn’t seem to bear that much fruit, and we didn’t really know what to do with them. But the black ones were used for wine. As a kid, I could not drink any, but I was forced to pick them. It was beyond annoying. The heat was overwhelming, the branches scratchy, the insects annoying, and the job tedious. One by one. Pick them off. And make sure they don’t drop to the ground so no one steps on them. I hated it. Once I grew up and was able to drink our pure, home made wine… I still hated the picking, but I loved the flavors. And I could eat them raw, too. I’ve had a hard time finding them anywhere, too.

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    1. Our Black currants are just beginning to produce a lot of berries but our white and red ones are usually loaded with fruit. Your description of picking them is spot on. The red and white grow in bunches, like grapes only much smaller. Sometimes it is easier to just pick the whole bunch instead of each individual berry.
      We usually eat some raw while picking. 🙂
      I have read that currants were banned in the US for a while as the plants can carry a disease that effect the White Pine. In most states the ban has been lifted but it seems that currants are making a slow come back. Currant farming may not be a very profitable business because of the work involved in picking. LOL.

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  2. I’ve only had just a few but loved them!! Their bright red color is so beautiful. We lived near Eureka, CA and huckleberries grow profusely in the woods but every once in awhile you would happen upon a current bush!!

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  3. My mom used to make red currant pie, just one a year, every Summer. Only one market near us carried them and they would only get a few pints in at a time. They were tart and made a nice pie, but since that market closed, I’ve never seen them in any other produce markets.

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    1. My dad told me that when he was young he remembered seeing currants in a grocery store. That was back when more foods were sourced locally and I guess just selling a few of something was good business. Nowadays it seems like if you can’t supply a mass amount of something the big stores won’t even bother with you.
      I can imagine making a currant pie was a lot of work. I’m not surprised she only made one a year. Thanks for sharing your memories. 🙂

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      1. You’re so right Ruth – you have to be big potatoes anymore or the store like Westborn Markets aren’t interested. We went for years to Andy’s Fruit Market in Southgate, and one day the owner closed up shop unexpectedly. The tale around town was, at the end of the shift on New Year’s Eve, he said he was closing permanently and gave employees their checks and they could take any food/produce, etc. from the market that they wanted. They didn’t take everything, either did he and that food/produce sat there for years … it drew rats. They boarded it up and no one has purchased the property which sat at a huge and busy intersection.

        When you get a chance, embedded in this post, is a story about picking berries at my great-grandmother’s farm back in her youth:


  4. ‘Topping and tailing’ is the worst bit! Blackcurrant Jam is my favourite and incidentally, Blackcurrant Jam warmed with a few walnuts chucked in is delicious served on top of a baked Brie.
    In England we love our currants. English Christmas cake (nothing like the nasty US version!!) is full of them. A toasted currant bun slathered with butter is a thing of beauty with a mug of tea. Ribena’s is the favourite drink of many kids and cassis and champagne/sparkling wine is a delicious Kir Royale.
    Starburst flavours in England are strawberry lemon orange and Blackcurrant. Blackcurrant and licorice are awesome hard candies with a soft chewy center.
    Pernod And Blackcurrant was my drink of choice until I had too much one night lol
    Redcurrant jelly is traditionally served with lamb in addition to mint sauce. Blackcurrant pie is awesome with English style custard
    Blackcurrant is huge for the English as you can probably tell! It’s uncommon here in the US as they were banned for so long but I think all but 4 states allow them now 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure what “topping and tailing” is.
      Black currants are the sweetest of the different varieties we grow. I can see why they would be made into candies.
      Oops. Too much is never fun. Can blackcurrant mix well with any other liquor to become your new favorite? 🙂
      Thanks for all the info.

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      1. Haha! I used take each berry off the stem and clean them individually. After reading that the stems should be used when making the juice for jelly because the stem contain a lot of pectin I decided I no longer had to do that (pectin has many health benefits) Now I put them in a large bowl of cold water and swish them and the berries with stems sink to the bottom and anything that is not berry floats to the top. I remove all the stuff that is floating. I repeat this a few times until I am satisfied that they are clean. I then blend up the berries with stems to make juice. 🙂

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