FAQ #1: Organic practices on currants
"Are your currents are raised using organic methods. Any information you could provide would be helpful. Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you. Karen V.B"
"We are not certified organic. Itís actually quite difficult to get certification for small family type farms. The good news is that Currants are pretty disease and insect resistant and the only thing Iíve had to use to date is some weed control which controls unwanted plants which compete for the natural nutrients the currant bushes need. When needed, we use Glyphosphate for this purpose which is a long chain fatty acid with toxicity equal to that of hand soap. It basically kills any weed or plant on which itís applied so there is no residue in the soil, the wanted plants or their fruit (currant bushes in this case). It actually kills the unwanted plants by simply blocking the natural protein production generated from the sun and the plant starves. Itís not residual so nothing is left behind to reside in the soil or wash into streams. If one has to do battle with weeds again next year it simply has to be applied again. There is a fungus thatís been showing up in the spring on the plants and as of this writing, Iíve been successful in controlling it by pruning out the affected branches. Interestingly enough, this disease is not only not harmful to people, it actually stimulates the development of more antioxidants in the plant to help fight off the disease. These are the same antioxidants that we use to fight off diseases in our bodies so ironically, plants that have this disease have healthier berries!"
FAQ #2: Concentrate vs. Nectar
"What is the difference between the concentrate and the nectar? Rhonda B."
"CurrantCô All Natural Black Currant Nectar is a ready to drink nectar with the highest black currant content of any ready to drink beverage in the world. Because it is so rich, some people like to add sparkling water for a refreshing drink but most people drink it as is for the full health benefits. Black Currants are very tart so the nectar is sweetened with sugar. It contains black currant juice, water, sugar and vitamin C. The concentrate is simply the juice that's been squeezed from the berries and has had the water removed at a rate of 5/1. There are no preservatives, additives or sweeteners. To reconstitute it to a ready to drink beverage you would replace the water and sweeten it with the sweetener of your choice. Both can be used in many other recipes such as syrups for ice cream, desserts and pancakes, sauces and fillings."
FAQ #3: CurrantC in Grocery Stores
"Are there any grocery stores in Southern New Jersey that carry your product? Joseph C."
"You could purchase CurrantC All Natural Black Currant Nectar in grocery stores but like many small companies we took quite a beating during the economic downturn and was forced to scale back and we're now available through our website. The good news is that we've cut the price you used to pay down so that it's about the same price as before with delivery right to your door."
FAQ #4: Dried Currants vs Nectar
"Would the dried currants be as beneficial as the juice? Margaret."
"As with any fruit or vegetable, the more that happens to it after it leaves the bush the more goodies it looses. The good news with Black Currants is that they are so high in so many nutrients and nutraceuticals to begin with that even when you loose some you're still ahead of the game. Although we've never had a face off between the juice and the dried currants, I suspect the juice is a little bit higher in some of the benefits since the juice is retained. Having said that they're both very healthy and delicious!"
FAQ #5: Shipping the Concentrate
"How do you ship the 32 oz concentrate without it thawing? Elaine."
"The 32oz concentrate sometimes gets soft in shipment but it's never a problem. The pH of black currants prohibits any bacterial formation. Just keep it in the freezer when received. Even when frozen it is easily spoonable."
FAQ #6: Frozen Berries
"Are the frozen berries easy to chew and pleasent to swallow (not an overabundance of fiber and not bitter)? Elaine."
"Fresh and frozen Black Currants are quite tart (not bitter). I love eating them right off the bush and fresh or thawed on my oatmeal and yogurt. Many folks, however, find them too tart (think raw cranberries) and prefer to sweeten them up a bit. It's a personal preference."
FAQ #7: Preparation of the Frozen Berries
"Are the frozen berries already washed, stemmed, and ready to eat? Elaine."
"The frozen berries are not washed or processed in any way. This is the best way to freeze them. It's just as if you picked them yourself. They do run through a vacuum on the harvesting machine which removes most of the leaves and such but you will find stems and some strigs as well as the odd leaf bit which is easily removed. We don't spray so everything is edible and many Eastern Europeans seek out the stems, strigs, branches and leaves to be made into teas for healthy skin."
FAQ #8: Amount of Concentrate
"How much Black Currant Concentrate should be used each day? Do you mix it 5/1? John M."
"A couple of tablespoons a day is great. You can mix it 5/1 with water, seltzer, hot water for a tea or in yogurts and smoothies."
FAQ #9: Deer and Black Currants
"Do deer Like Black/Red currants and do they eat the leaves? Meredith C."
"Deer have been known to nibble the buds and leaves a little but it's usually not a big problem."