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are black currants sweet

by Aracely Graham Published 6 months ago Updated 4 weeks ago

Though the occasional perfectly ripe Black currant is sweet enough for fresh eating, most often these tart berries are reserved for cooked applications. They are typically made into jams, jellies, syrups and liqueurs which are bolstered with some kind of sweetener.

What do black currants taste like?

Their unique tart-sweet flavor is often compared to blackberries, raspberries, and passion fruit. However, comparatively, black currants tend to be more earthy. The berries are commonly used in sweet or savory dishes, and their unique flavor pairs well with many other recipes, including jams, pies, and juices.

Can you grow black currants?

Growing black currants provides your family with bunches of delicious, dark purple to black fruits with little fuss. Nothing is as delicious as homegrown fruit, but growing it does feel overwhelming. Not so with black currants. Not only are these fruits full of vitamin C, but your future will be full of pies, jams, and other delicious treats.

What is the difference between Zante and black currants?

Dried black currants look a lot like Zante currants. They are smaller than the dried grapes and have a deep berry flavor. Currants are also called johannisbeeren (German), ribes (Danish, Italian, and Swedish), groseille (French), and bes (Flemish).

Which black currants produce the most berries?

Out of all of the varieties, ‘Ben Connan’ black currants is the heaviest producing one, with up to 7 pounds of berries off of one plant. The plants are compact, so this type works well for containers. The berries are larger than normal and the plant has excellent disease resistance to mildew.


What do black currant taste like?

Black currants have a strong, tart taste due to the high levels of tannins. These berries have strong, earthy tones. People describe the taste as grape-like flavor and are acidic to taste with hints of cherry. When dried, black currants contain hints of vanilla and wildflower.

Are black currants sweeter than red currants?

Black currants are sweetest, then white, and then red, which tend to be tart. Red currants are bracingly tart and a bit sweet, like a sugar-kissed cranberry.

Do blackcurrants taste sweet?

Blackcurrant has an intense tart-sweet flavor. The tastes range from earthy musky to highly tart, depending on the type and when they are gathered. They have a somewhat acidic, grape-like fragrance with cherry undertones.

Is blackcurrant sweet or sour?

Blackcurrants are sour little things, so most people don't eat them fresh like raspberries or strawberries. Instead, they are often mixed with other fruits, or made into jam, compotes or syrups. Blackcurrants are wonderful when mixed with apples in a crumble or with other berries for all sorts of desserts.

What is the sweetest currant?

Whitecurrants have the sweetest fruit – 'Blanca' has delicious pearly white berries and is very heavy cropping. It makes a beautiful jelly. Pruning is easy work, as long as you remember this essential fact: blackcurrants fruit on young wood, whereas white and red currants fruit on old wood.

What is the best tasting currant berry?

White currants are the sweetest of the three currant colors – sweet, and tart with floral undertones. Although the fruits are the primary source of food from the plant, the leaves and tender, young shoots are also edible. White currant berries are slightly smaller than their red counterparts.

Can blackcurrants be eaten raw?

While black currants have a strong taste, they're delicious to eat raw when they're ripe. You can also use them in a variety of recipes. Some ways to prepare black currants include: Cooking with sugar and other fruits to make a jam.

What fruit is similar to black currant?

Thorny Imposter. Ribes divaricatum, also called straggly gooseberry, spreading gooseberry and coast black gooseberry, is a black gooseberry that has a papery tail similar to that found on black currants. The plant is spiny, though, and the flowers tend to droop when they bloom in March through May.

What Flavour goes well with black currant?

Currants (black and red): Pair well with chocolate and citrus. They are excellent to mix with dark rum, port, sloe gin, and any style of wine, as seen when crème de cassis makes an appearance in the kir cocktail, bishop cocktail, and vermouth cassis.

How do you know when a black currant is ripe?

Tug blackcurrants slightly to check for ripeness. Pull the blackcurrants off their stems in the areas of the bush you'd like to harvest from. Ripe blackcurrants should be full of juice, so they should easily fall into your hand.

What are black currants used for?

The raw fruit is particularly rich in vitamin C and polyphenols. Blackcurrants can be eaten raw but are usually cooked in sweet or savoury dishes. They are used to make jams, preserves, and syrups and are grown commercially for the juice market. The fruit is also used to make alcoholic beverages and dyes.

What is the difference between black currants and raisins?

Raisins, sultanas and currants are all types of dried grapes. Raisins and sultanas are soft, sweet and juicy, while currants have an intense, sweet and tangy taste. Raisins are typically the largest of the three.

What's the difference between blackcurrant and redcurrant?

Red and black currants produce similar blooms in spring, but black currants display white blooms while red currant flowers show a yellowish tint. Red currants produce clusters of berries in shades of pale red to bright crimson or deep red, depending on the variety. Black currants are always purple-black.

What is the sweetest blackcurrant?

EbonyBlackcurrant 'Ebony' is the sweetest blackcurrant! This outstanding dessert variety is so exceptionally sweet that it can be eaten straight from the bush when fully ripe. Heavy crops of large, firm currants – each one up to twice the size of a normal blackcurrant – are produced for harvesting from early to mid July.

Are red currants and black currants the same?

Red currants produce large clusters of sweet/tart fruit great for fresh eating. Black currants create larger fruits with very deep and complex flavor. All types are worth growing for their unique flavors, medicinal value, and ease of management.

Is blackcurrant the same as red currant?

A major difference between red and black currants is the taste. According to Fine Cooking, black currants are the sweetest type of currant, "red currants are bracingly tart and a bit sweet, like a sugar-kissed cranberry," and white currants fall somewhere in the middle.

What is Black Currant?

Black currants are aromatic and juicy berries that grow in the summer. You can eat it raw or preserve it dried or into jams and syrups.

What Does Black Currant Taste Like? Does Black Currant Taste Good?

Black currant has a texture similar to all the berries. They are also very juicy and contain seeds that you can chew and swallow.


It is not only the berries of Black currant that people savor but even its leaves and flowers contribute so much to perfumes and medicinal oils.

Best Black Currant Varieties

First things first, you’ll need to narrow down the variety of black currant that you want to grow in your garden. Typically, you’ll only select one type to avoid cross-pollination, unless you have separate areas to plant the bushes.

Growing Black Currants in Your Garden

Black currant plants grow well in USDA Zones 3-8. In the U.S., they used to be banned in many parts of the country because of fears that they spread white pine blister rust.

Caring for Black Currants in The Garden

Now that your bushes are planted, it’s time to learn how to take care of your growing black currants. Honestly, of all the soft fruits, it’s probably the easiest to care for. It doesn’t need much more than some pruning, water, and occasional feeding.

Best Companion Plants for Black Currants

Gooseberries get along well with black currants – they’re close relatives and have similar growing needs. Don’t plant black currants near white pine trees or other currant varieties, like white currants, if you want to avoid cross-pollination.

Common Pests & Diseases

One of the best parts of growing black currants is that they are troubled by fewer pests and diseases than many other plants.

Harvesting Black Currants

Black currants ripen around July, but some fruit into August. Early varieties ripen in late June. You might be able to have up to six weeks of a picking season for black currants!

What Are Black Currants?

Black currants are small oval-shaped berries with a dark-blue to black appearance and a tart taste.

Black Currants Are Extremely High In Vitamin C

Most fruits contain a good amount of vitamin C, but black currants are exceptionally high in the vitamin.

A Good Source of Fiber

Per 100-gram (3.5 oz) serving, black currants provide 15.4 grams of carbohydrate, of which 6.8 grams come from fiber ( 8 ).

Blackcurrants May Help To Improve Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular Risk Markers

Over recent decades, various berries have shown that they may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure levels and other cardiometabolic risk markers.

May Slightly Improve Exercise Performance

Mixed evidence exists on the potential benefits of blackcurrant on exercise performance.

Full Nutrition Facts

For reference, here are the full nutritional values for black currants per 100-gram (3.5 oz) serving.

How To Use Black Currants

Aside from all the common commercial products, here are some ways we can use black currants at home:


Ribes nigrum, the blackcurrant, is a medium-sized shrub, growing to 1.5 by 1.5 metres (5 by 5 ft). The leaves are alternate, simple, 3 to 5 cm ( 1 + 1⁄4 to 2 in) broad and long with five palmate lobes and a serrated margin. All parts of the plant are strongly aromatic.


Blackcurrants can grow well on sandy or heavy loams, or forest soils, as long as their nutrient requirements are met. They prefer damp, fertile but not waterlogged ground and are intolerant of drought.


Willem Claesz. Heda: The Blackcurrant Pie (1641), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg


Raw blackcurrants are 82% water, 15% carbohydrates, 1% protein and 0.4% fat (table). Per 100 g serving providing 63 kilocalories, the raw fruit has high vitamin C content (218% of the Daily Value, DV) and moderate levels of iron and manganese (12% DV each). Other nutrients are present in negligible amounts (less than 10% DV, table).


Polyphenol phytochemicals present in the fruit, seeds and leaves, are being investigated for their potential biological activities.

Buying, Cooking, and Recipes

An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients.

What Are Currants?

Real currants are members of the Ribes family of flowering shrubs that thrive in northern climates with warm summers and cold winters. The tiny berries grow in clusters on stems and are best when allowed to ripen on the plant. Currants have long been cultivated in Europe.

How to Use Currants

Fresh currants can be used like blueberries, and somewhat like blackberries or raspberries, in tarts and pies, and other desserts, such as sorbets and puddings. Use them fresh in fruit salads, particularly berry mixes, or to garnish desserts with their pretty color.

What Does It Taste Like?

Currants have a sweet and sour berry flavor. All varieties have a bright acid kick to balance out their sweetness, and a fair amount of tannins that can make your mouth pucker.

Currant Recipes

Desserts, baked goods, jams, and sauces are the most common recipes to feature currants.

Where to Buy Currants

Fresh currants are not widely available in the U.S. and they tend to cost a bit more than other berries. Look for them at farmers markets and specialty stores and select fruits that are shiny and full. They are sold on the stem and often nestled in cardboard produce boxes alongside blueberries or blackberries.


Like all berries, fresh currants have a relatively short lifespan. They are best stored loosely wrapped or covered and chilled. Rinse fresh currants just before using them, and gently pat them thoroughly dry with a clean towel.

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