Category Archives: Currants (Ribes)

Nutrient content of black currants under different soil treatments

Svetlana M. Paunovi´c, Pavle Maˇskovi´2018. Primary metabolites, vitamins and mineras in berry and leaf extracts in black currants (Ribes nigrum) under different soil management systems. Comptes rendus de l’Acade´mie bulgare des Sciences (71) 2, 299- 308.

This article from Serbia found that in cultivated black currants, fructose was the most common sugar in both leaves and berries while sucrose was very low. In the leaves, the highest levels of fructose, glucose and sucrose occurred on bushes grown through a black plastic mulch when compared to a sawdust mulch and unmatched, fallow soils. The main vitamins in black currants are C, B3 and A. With vitamins, the highest levels in the berries were recorded on plants mulched with sawdust while vitamin A was highest in the black plastic mulch treatments. The highest values for primary metabolites, vitamins and minerals in berry and leaf extracts were achieved by currants grown under sawdust and black plastic mulch. This study showed that changes to how black currants are grown can have a significant effect on the nutritive value of both leaves and berries. They also worked with several cultivars and found significant differences in nutritive quality with cultivar. 18. Black currant

Fruit Teas in Poland

Ingredients of popular fruit teas in Poland

Artur Adamczak, Anna Forycka, Tomasz M. Karpiński

Department of Botany, Breeding and Agricultural Technology of Medicinal Plants, Institute of Natural Fibres and Medicinal Plants, Kolejowa 2, 62-064 Plewiska, Poland(Adamczak and Forycka)) and Department of Genetics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Święcickiego 4, 60-781 Poznań, Poland (Karpiński)

The attached article from Poland shows the incredible diversity of fruit teas in Polish markets. Leaves, fruit, flowers, stems, petals, peels, roots, and juice concentrates  are used in a variety of teas that are popular because of their flavor, aroma and health benefits especially antioxidant content. The most popular fruit teas were raspberry, cranberry and rose hip, but the final tea sometimes contained more than 20 ingredients. Especially common in fruit teas were hibiscus flowers and apple. Apple and rose hip are often the top ingredients because they are cheap and easy to obtain from commercial sources. Even teas labeled raspberry could have hibiscus as the main ingredient. It certainly pays to do your homework and purchase from reputable sources because quality variation is huge. The list of ingredients is diverse and interesting!


Healthy Northern Berries Improve Glucose Utilization

This study from Norway centered around glucose control in the liver. The researchers studied the pathways of glucose uptake and described the enzymes used in the final steps of carbohydrate digestion as alpha-amylase and alpha glucosidase. Any chemical that inhibits these enzymes will slow glucose uptake in the liver and be a benefit to anyone dealing with type 2 diabetes. They studies a lot of berries (bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), black currants (Ribes nigrum),  bog whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitas-idaea), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), red currant (Ribes rubric), rowan berries (mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia), and sea buckthorn (Hippophae (Elaeagnus) rhamnoides). The phenolic compounds in all the berries inhibited response the enzymes that promote glucose uptake. Some berries had other chemicals that actually promoted glucose uptake: mountain ash and bilberry being the highest. The berries with the most powerful inhibitors were crowberry, cloudberry, bog whortleberry (bog blueberry), and lingonberry with crowberry being ranked number 1!


Cornell Berry Diagnostics

The Cornell Cooperative Extensions Berry Diagnostic Tool is an excellent resource for anyone growing or interested in strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, and gooseberries. This online tool allows anyone to select a berry crop and then from a variety of descriptions of plant growth issues, deformities, discolorations, damage, or other indicator that occurs on the whole plant, flower, fruit, or vegetative to continue to diagnose the issue. Lots of photographs and links to in depth articles are included about many diagnoses to really get to the “root” of the issue. Finally, recommendations for management of the issue can be selected after referring to the images and descriptions
Citation: Cornell Cooperative Extension. 2016. Cornell Fruit Berry Diagnostic Tool. Available online: Diagnosis. Accessed: 12 October 201

Black currant ban

Growing black currants were banned in the early 1900s in the US due to their status as an alternate host in white pine blister rust.  “The federal ban on growing currants was shifted to jurisdiction of individual states in 1966, and was lifted in New York State in 2003 through the efforts of horticulturist Greg Quinn”  (Wikipedia)  Due to the creation of resistant cultivars they have been released from the ban in certain states.  I wondered why black currants are not well known around the states, however are popular in areas of Europe.  This ban removed this berry from our grasp for many years!  Here is an article about its new status in NY as of 2003 and its growing popularity:

Lots of Berries at the Palmer State Fair

I don’t often get to visit the Palmer fair, but I enjoyed seeing all the fruit displays, everything from apples to oblipika (the sea buckthorn). And then there was the odd pink mountain ash located on the fair grounds. Might be Sorbus hupehbensis ‘Pink Pagoda’. Maybe.

The Most Expensive Jam in the World?

Do you have extra money to burn, how about some jam?   Jam

Currant harvester

Talk about Currant Harvester: My mouth was watering throughout the currant section so I thought I’d investigate the possibility of a currant harvester.  This one I found looks A LOT like it was designed as an Alaskan Machine.:)  Currant Harvester

Black Currant Liqueur

How to make your own Creme de Cassis, Black Currant Liqueur.  First off, I love the name of this blog (Use Real Butter), and this is a great step-by-step way to make a fruit liqueur with berries and vodka.  (And off topic, check out how to make your own Vanilla Extract.)  Currant Liqueur

Zante “currants”

While watching Greg Quinn’s TED talk on black currants, I was slightly unnerved to find out that I was one of those suckers who thought Zante Currants were indeed currants. Zante currants look like raisins, taste like raisins, and come in a box with this warning about the occasional GRAPE STEM mixed up inside. I still never saw it coming. Surely I’ve read every food label in my cabinet except for this one…

The blow to my pride does not make the Zante Currant taste any less delicious in my oatmeal. It may be a raisin, but it’s a quality raisin. In fact, the “Black Corinth” has been with us for a long time: Pliny the Elder made mention of this “tiny Greek grape” in 75 A.D., and in 1901 the USDA’s David Fairchild was responsible for the first introduction in the U.S.

However, the future of the California Zante Currant (and really, the future of all U.S. raisins) may be in jeopardy. Greece’s “above-average yield” in 2014 flooded the export market and kept prices for California exports from rising. A rise in price is necessary to justify the expense for the farmers. Couple that with a “lack of labor” and historic drought conditions and you have many farms ripping out their vines and replacing at least a portion of their land with more lucrative nut crops.

References:  Fitchette, T. 2015. RBA achieves $1,900 for 2014 Zante Currant raisin crop. Available online:, Accessed 18 October 2105.  Northcutt, G. 2015. Following bloom, water for irrigation remains a big concern for raisin grape growers. Available online: Accessed 18 October 2015.  University of California Integrated Viticulture. Zante Currant. Available online: Accessed 18 October 2015.

Gooseberries and Currants

Specialty crop profile from Virginia Cooperative extension on gooseberries and currants!

Gooseberries and Currants

White Currants

White currants hardly ever get any attention it seems like. This is a site gives some good outlines on how to grown and care for white currants along with some possible pests that might trouble you.

White Currants

Harvesting Red Currants

Here’s a video where red currants are being collected by “pamputus”, hit by a stick, then cleaned. Fast picking, fast cleaning. I wonder is all that hitting good for the plant..?

The quality of the video is poor, but you’ll see the point!

Red Currant Harvesting