Posted by Danica Lo via foodandwine.com
Blackcurrants Are So Hot Right Now
These delicious little berries were illegal to farm in the United States from 1911 to 2003.
Well. That’s all about to change.
According to a recent report in Atlas Obscura, blackcurrant farming is on the up-and-up in this country-and a comeback is “well underway.” Recently, growers such as Blue Fruit Farm have sold berries to distilleries, breweries, ice creameries, and jam-makers. Apparently they are using indoor vertical farming equipment for lighting to help improve the growing conditions for the blackcurrants. CurrantC, a 10,000-bush-strong farm in upstate New York run by horticulturalist Greg Quinn who spent 20+ years teaching at the New York Botanical Gardens, has grown its direct-to-consumer business by leaps and bounds over the past 13 years-while also working with restaurants, such as Michelin-star Meadowsweet.
The berries’ flavor, which is simultaneously rich, sweet, and tart, leaves plenty of opportunity for use-from traditional desserts, like this Jacques Pepin summer fruit soup which is poached in a blackcurrant liqueur broth, and the Great British Bake Off‘s Paul Hollywood’s black currant and liquorice Swiss roll, to gorgeous late-summer mocktails (this Jamie Oliver blackcurrant punch is made with lush coconut milk and refreshing mint leaves). Blackcurrant can even be made into a sauce-think: like cranberry sauce-to serve alongside poultry.
As for blackcurrants’ nutritional value? Well, that’s off the chart. Blackcurrants are a rich source of vitamin C and potassium, as well as containing a spectrum of B-vitamins (B1, B5, B6) and twice as many antioxidants per serving as blueberries.
If Whole Foods in New York City is any indication, you’ll be seeing blackcurrants and its offshoot products in supermarket aisles near you in the very near future. In the meantime, if you can’t wait to get your hands on the American produced versions of the sweet little berry, you can always order up some emergency Ribena concentrate on Amazon to tide you over