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Redcurrant, Ribes rubrum, is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, native to parts of western Europe. It is a deciduous shrub normally growing to 1-1.5 m tall, occasionally 2 m, with five-lobed leaves arranged spirally on the stems. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green, in pendulous 4–8 cm racemes, maturing into bright red translucent edible berries about 8–12 mm diameter, with 3-10 berries on each raceme. An established bush can produce 3-4 kilos of berries from mid to late summer.

Culinary uses

With maturity, the tart flavour of redcurrant fruit is slightly greater than its blackcurrant relative, but with the same approximate sweetness. The albino variant of redcurrant, often referred to as white currant, has the same tart flavour but with greater sweetness. Although frequently cultivated for jams and cooked preparations, much like the white currant, it is often served raw or as a simple accompaniment in salads, garnishes, or drinks when in season.

In the United Kingdom, redcurrant jelly is a condiment often served with lamb, game meat including venison, turkey and goose in a festive or Sunday roast. It is essentially a jam and is made in the same way, by adding the redcurrants to sugar, boiling, and straining.

In France, the highly rarefied and hand-made Bar-le-duc or Lorraine jelly is a spreadable preparation traditionally made from white currants or alternatively red currants. The pips are taken off by hand with a goose feather, before cooking.

In Scandinavia and Schleswig-Holstein, it is often used in fruit soups and summer puddings. In Germany it is also used in combination with custard or meringue as a filling for tarts. In Linz, Austria, it is the most commonly used filling for the Linzer torte. It can be enjoyed in its fresh state without the addition of sugar.

In German-speaking areas, syrup or nectar derived from the red currant is added to soda water and enjoyed as a refreshing drink named Johannisbeerschorle. It is so named because the redcurrants are said to ripen first on St. John's Day, also known as Midsummer Day, June 24.

In Russia, redcurrants are ubiquitous and used in jams, preserves, compotes and desserts; while leaves have many uses in traditional medicine.

In Mexico, redcurrants are a popular flavour for iced/frappé drinks and desserts, most commonly in 'raspado' form.

Nutritional Value:

Macronutrients, which consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat, make up the calorie content of a food. Most of the calories in red currants come from carbohydrates. High-fiber foods take longer to digest, filling you up and reducing your chances of overeating. Additionally, soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol and also keeps blood sugar levels on an even keel. 

Vitamin C is important for collagen production and also boosts immune function. Collagen is a protein responsible for the strength and composition of connective tissue and skin. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with blood clotting. Red currants have a generous amount of this vitamin. Iron is important for oxygen transportation to the muscles and other areas of the body. Meat and meat derivatives are highest in this mineral, but certain fruits have a moderate amount, too. 

Red currants contain 6 percent of the recommended daily value of iron.Free radicals are renegade cells that break down healthy cells in the body and are responsible for raising the risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body. Many fruits with a red pigment, such as currants, contain an antioxidant carotenoid known as lycopene, which has links to a reduction in heart disease and cancer risk, especially prostate cancer. Mix red currants, blueberries and blackberries together in a bowl with yogurt for an antioxidant-packed snack or dessert.

Read More at Wikipedia.
Recipe using Red currents see Here and Here.
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