Blackcurrants

This glossy black fruit is produced by a shrub of the same name and is often used in a variety of both savory and sweet dishes. 

The Blackcurrant Bush 

This woody shrub originated in the temperate parts of both Northern Asia and Northern Europe. Grown for its berries, the plant is cultivated both domestically and commercially. 

These bushes produce small black fruits along its stems. These fruits are later harvested and can be eaten raw or in several different kinds of dishes. Blackcurrants are also often used in different jellies, jams, and syrups, and they’ve become quite popular in the juice and alcoholic mixer markets. 

During mid-summer, the blackcurrant bush produces tiny green fruits. Throughout the summer, these fruits ripen to a dark purple or black color.

Most bushes will produce around 10 pounds of berries each year. 

These bushes grow best in damp soil. 

Varieties Of Blackcurrant 

A few of the main types of blackcurrant that you’ll come across include: 

  • Magnus, a more acidic-tasting blackcurrant
  • Ben Ard, a more sweet-tasting blackcurrant
  • Ben Rua, a more fruity and well-balanced blackcurrant

A Sweet And Earthy Taste

Blackcurrants are tiny little dark purple berries. They usually have an earthy flavor, though they’ve been described as having hints of raspberry and other floral notes. 

Though sweet, the sweetness of the berry doesn’t tend to linger. Rather, the berries themselves have a sharp, quick bite to them. 

They’re often used in desserts and various jams, liquors, and syrups. 

A Delicious Blackcurrant Dish 

There are a variety of dishes that use blackcurrant, whether it’s the fruit itself or the fruit in some kind of jam or compote. Both savory and dessert dishes have been known to feature the fruit, so there’s quite a wide range that you can look into if you’re planning to cook with blackcurrants!

One such dish is blackcurrant pavlova. The recipe is perfect for summertime, and is great for a refreshing dish! 

In addition to blackcurrants, you’ll need: 

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 8oz of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

Read through this delicious recipe to make the rest of the topping, and enjoy! 

The Banned Blackcurrant

Though you can find them in the U.S. today, there was a period in which the blackcurrant was actually banned in New York and other regions of the United States. This is because it was believed that the blackcurrants helped spread a fungus that was detrimental to the timber industry. 

As recently as 2003, New York repealed the ban on the fruit. 

A Sustainable Dye Alternative

In addition to a myriad of culinary uses, blackcurrants are also frequently used for their dyeing capabilities. This doesn’t just extend to fabric or food dyes, though; it’s believed that hair dyes can be created from blackcurrants! This would help make the dyeing process more sustainable both for the environment and for hair health. 

A Unique Berry

Though it might not be the most popular, blackcurrants certainly have their place both in the culinary and cosmetic worlds! Add the blackcurrant to your shopping list and give this sweet and sharp berry a try.

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