about black currants
Black Currant (Ribes nigrum) is a cold-climate shrub native to northern Europe and Asia, and have been in cultivation for nearly 500 years. Widely grown throughout Europe, black currants are lesser known in the United States, largely due to a ban on currant farming in the early 1900s, when white blister rust – vectored by black currants – threatened the U.S. logging industry. Although the federal ban was relegated to state jurisdiction in the 1960s, black currants have yet to gain the popularity they boast in Europe. We only grow varieties of black currants that are resistant to white pine blister rust and powdery mildew. These include Titania, Crusader and Minaj Smyriou. We originally planted two varieties but we found that Consort has severe powdery mildew problems. Unfortunately, we had to pull out all 120 plants. We obtained the original nursery stock from St Lawrence Nursery in upstate New York and from Whitman Farms in Oregon.
Black currants are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C.. Research led by the Scottish Crop Research Institute has confirmed that black currants have higher levels of antioxidants and total vitamins than most other fruit including blueberries and pomegranates. The type of antioxidant that black currants have is called anthocyanins. Research has shown black currants help prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease (Tufts University Study 2006), diabetes and high blood pressure. Black currant seeds are rich in gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is believed to reduce inflammation of arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory diseases. GLA also inhibits blood clotting and thus may protect against heart attacks and strokes. The leaves and berries also contain substances that have antifungal and antibacterial properties and is effective in treating diarrhea cause by E. coli.
A tablespoon of Black Currants could aid with eye function for those who use a computer and they also have been shown to improve metal performance. Black Currant extract promotes gut health and reduces marker for colon cancer. Black Currant has shown to promote kidney health and reduce the occurrence of Kidney Stones. You can learn more by reading the study.
using black currants
The berries make excellent jams, juices, wines, glazes and sauces. Black currant jam is excellent on cheesecake, warm brie cheese, or pannacotta! Blue Heron Coffeehouse made a glaze with our Black Currants with their cheesecake for Blue Fruit Fest, and it was absolutely delicious.
Black Currants are great in smoothies and oatmeal! It is a flavorful substitute to cranberry sauce. Black Currant can be combined with other fruits to make delicious tarts and pies.
Cordials made from black currants are very popular in Europe. It is used as a liqueur in drinks, or taken as medicine for various ailments. Herbal extracts and powders can also be used for the multitude of health benefits offered by black currants. Creme de cassis is a liqueur made from Black Currants!
Jams we make that use black currants are Black Currant (our tartest) and Blue Currant (blueberries and black currants).