The Taste of Black Currants

quillfredJune 19, 2012

I want to grow these but am wondering about the unusual taste. I finally found some black currant jam (imported from France) to be sure I liked the taste. I would be happy to grow them for juice, jam/jelly or fresh eating.

I was delighted by the taste. To me these tasted like a concentrated blackberry flavor - almost more bramble then the bramble fruits. Has anyone else experienced this similarity or was my jam maybe mixed fruit? Thanks.


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Yes, actually the taste of black currants can be very overpowering. It is a fabulous fruit that to me, has a hint of 'pine tree' fragrance to it. I make black currant jam, and black currant gelato every summer, and use it all winter long. It is an exotic, powerful taste. The berries are very easy to grow in New England.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 4:29PM
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I agree the flavor is strong. So people either love or hate them. it is probably aquired taste too, because in Europe where they are widely grown people love them. I really LOVE them fresh, in Jam, ice cream or just mashed and mixed with sugar (it can be kept in fridge for long time this way). Black currants also make wonderful drinks. Ver7y underappreciated berry here. I am in MD and BC grow really well here.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Tastes like fruit marinaded in original flavor Listerine. Nonetheless, I am learning to enjoy them, my tolerance for the flavor increases each year. Not ripe here yet, but soon.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 4:56PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Quillfred - just go for it - PNW should be ideal. Whether a taste is 'unusual' or 'exotic' is entirely a matter of what you are used to. One of the commonest and most popular children's drinks in the UK is blackcurrant flavoured and they are also used in sweets.

But when we visited the States and found candies with wintegreen or cinnamon flavour ... yuk. My kids wouldn't touch them. ;o)

If you are shy about the expense buy one bush and take cuttings. They grow more easily than any other plant except perhaps willow, just by sticking a twig in the ground.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ribena

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Olga and Flora are both right. It is a taste unto itself. Try them!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 5:26PM
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My balck current is ripening. I eat few at a time right off the bush. It has sweet flavor. Only thing I do not like is the metalic after taste in the mouth, not very strong, but I still can detect it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 5:56PM
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alan haigh

There is a range of sweetness with black currant varieties and that can make a difference in whether you like them fresh but I've honestly never met anyone who doesn't like them as a flavoring for drinks or a desert ingredient, such as a thin syrup between layers of cake with chocolate icing or in scones used like cranberries.

It's just a question of how strong you like it. Some people don't like strong coffee.

I think at full strength they are an acquired taste, but diluted, not so much.

Take a couple quarts of fresh apple juice and put it through a blender with a cup or 2 of black currants, pour it through strainer and enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Campanula UK Z8

gah - they are horrible on their own - they need sugar, and lots of it. The only currants I would eat off the bush are redcurrants and whitecurrants (but I cannot see the point of growing whitecurrants). I have around 20 blackcurrants and make jelly and cordial (and frankly, the picking and jamming is a nightmare too, but we have all gotten used to having them - you tend not to find them in the supermarkets that much and if so, then they cost a fortune.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Thanks for all your responses. You guys are great and your enthusiasm is contagious. I'm convinced I should give them a go. I'm hopeless. I already have a group of newly grafted apples I don't really have room for, lol. I'll order some bare-root plants in Fall. I guess there isn't such a thing a thing as too many fruiting trees and plants.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Commercial products such as "Danish Choice" black currant preserves and Looza juice (discontinued since 2010, rats) are presweetened and quite enjoyable. Russian grocery stores usually have a variety of black currant products.

I don't get a blackberry flavor from black currants. The currants have a more deeper, darker, earthy flavor, more like an extreme black raspberry than a blackberry.

Our black currants here in Oregon are producing some fruit in the second year from planting.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Black currants have a lot of pectin and a very strong and delicious flavor with an extreme concentration of antioxidants and low pH. What could be better for jam and preserves?

Its definitely more cost effective to buy them at a Russian market rather than New Seasons or Whole Foods or similar stores that try for gourmet variety.

I read the ingredients and buy the one that list only black currants and sugar as the ingredients, preferably in that order.

I consider pectin, lemon juice, citric acid, natural flavors etc to be adulterants.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:09AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>gah - they are horrible on their own - they need sugar, and lots of itYes, some they do, we had them in the home garden in Switzerland.
Here in Canada I put one in several years ago, it's a different story, nice and sweet with a lovely flavor, eat right off the bush,... better then red currants!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:46AM
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