Blackcurrants are native to northern Europe and Asia, blackcurrant (sometimes spelled “black currant”) is a shrub that produces clusters of tart berries during the summer.
The berries are used in many foods and drinks. Because they're so tart, they're generally combined with other fruits, or made into jellies and jams. They're especially popular in the U.K. as a juice and soft drink flavoring.
The fruit of blackcurrants can be eaten raw, but it has a strong, tart flavour
. It can be made into jams and jellies which set readily because of the fruit's high content of pectin
and acid. For culinary use, the fruit is usually cooked with sugar
to produce a purée, which can then be passed through muslin
to separate the juice. The purée can be used to make blackcurrant preserves and be included in cheesecakes, yogurt
, ice cream, desserts, sorbets and many other sweet dishes. The exceptionally strong flavour can be moderated by combining it with other fruits, such as raspberries and strawberries in summer pudding, or apples in crumbles and pies. The juice can be used in syrups and cordials. Blackcurrants are a common ingredient of Rødgrød, a popular kissel-like dessert in North German and Danish cuisines.
Blackcurrants are also used in savoury cooking because their astringency creates added flavour in many sauces, meat and other dishes and they are included in some unusual combinations of foods. They can be added to tomato
and mint to make a salad, used to accompany roast or grilled lamb
, used to accompany seafood and shellfish, used as a dipping sauce at barbecues, blended with mayonnaise
, used to invigorate bananas and other tropical fruits, combined with dark chocolate or added to mincemeat in traditional mince pies at Christmas.
Japan imports $3.6 million of New Zealand blackcurrants for uses as dietary supplements, snacks, functional food products and as quick-frozen produce for culinary production as jams, jellies or preserves.
The juice forms the basis for various popular cordials, juice drinks, juices and smoothies. Typically blended with apple or other red fruits, it is also mixed with pomegranate and grape juice. Also used in alcoholic beverages, blackcurrant liqueur mixed with white wine is called Kir or Kir Royale when mixed with champagne. Macerated blackcurrants are also the primary ingredient in the apéritif crème de cassis.
s. Blackcurrants can be eaten raw but are usually cooked in a variety of sweet or
dishes. They are used to make jams, jellies and syrups and are grown commercially for the
market. The fruit is also used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages and both fruit and foliage have uses in traditional medicine and the preparation of dyes.
, and a broad range of other essential nutrients.Other phytochemicals in the fruit have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with potential to inhibit inflammation mechanisms suspected to be at the origin of heart disease, cancer, microbial infections or neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
and several unsaturated fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid. There is some evidence that gamma-linolenic acid may boost the effectiveness of the immune system and that use of the oil can reduce total
and triglycerides while increasing beneficial high-density cholesterol.