Category Archives: Currants (Ribes)

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!

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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:   http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2006/07/welcome-back-black-currants-forbidden-fruit-making-ny-comeback.

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