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Currants, both blackcurrants, and redcurrants are a type of gooseberry that is native to Europe. These are not to be confused with the Zante Currant, which is a type of dried grape that is commonly known in the US. Blackcurrants and redcurrants were previously banned in many states due to them being thought to be hosts of white pine blister rust. In 1966, new disease-resistant variants of the currants were introduced, and the government left it to individual states to lift the ban as they see fit. Some states, to this day, still ban the growing of currants and other gooseberries.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Saxifragales
  • Family: Grossulariaceae
  • Genus: Ribes
  • Species: R. rubrum
  • Binomial name: Ribes rubrum

Currant Trivia

  • Redcurrants are the most commonly used filling for the Linzer torte.
  • It takes over 1,200 currants to make a 700ml bottle of juice.
  • The leaves of the blackcurrants are used as flavoring agents in making vodka and tea in Russia.
  • Oil from blackcurrant seeds is used in making skincare products.

Currant Buying Guide

Due to the ban on the growing of redcurrants and blackcurrants in some states, it’s tough to find fresh currants in many supermarkets. They can still be found in farmers’ markets and specialty markets with supplies coming from specialty growers.

Currants should be dry on the surface and should be firm. Avoid currants that are overly soft or show signs of wetness or leaking.

For black currants – The fruit should be deep and dark black.

For red currants – The color should be deep and dark red, not bright red.

Currant Production & Farming in Texas

Currants cannot tolerate the Texas summers and are not commercially produced anywhere in the state. Some smaller specialized growers might have redcurrants and blackcurrants, but they are very few and are limited to the northernmost parts of the state.


Widespread importation and local commercial production of blackcurrants and redcurrants are not present, so pesticide information on them is not available. Blackcurrants and redcurrants are also mostly grown by small organic growers, so if you can find them, there’s a big chance that they will be from organic farms.


Currants grow in USDA hardiness zones 3-5, so they cannot be grown commercially or locally in Texas without special equipment, which makes cultivation very expensive.

Currants are still mostly banned where pine trees are grown for lumber, which is basically where currants grow best.


Since locally grown currants are from specialty farms and in farmers’ markets, it is not unusual to find them without any special packaging.

Imported currants usually come IQF and in puncture-proof plastic bags that require them to be frozen at all times.

Enjoying Currants

While currants are inherently tart, they still have a touch of sweetness to them that makes for good eating. To enjoy fresh currants, just give them a quick wash and enjoy them as you would grapes.

Important: Currants have seeds in them. “Seedless” currants are probably small grapes that are labeled as currants.


Fresh currants can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days at maximum.

To freeze currants, they can be either dry-packed, syrup packed, or sugar packed.

  • Dry Pack – The most common way of freezing currants, just place in a freezer-safe container and freeze.
  • Syrup Pack – Pack currants first in a freezer-safe container and pour in 50% sugar syrup to cover the currants before freezing.
  • Sugar Pack – For every quart (1.33 pounds) of currants, stir in ¾ cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved before freezing.

Currants can also be dried to extend their shelf life for up to six months. Before consuming or using in cooking, they should be reconstituted or softened with water first.



Fresh currants can be used in tarts, pies, and jams. Their tartness, just like blackberries, makes them perfect for pastry applications.


  • Carbs
    • Fresh currants have a glycemic index of 22, which is considered low. Low glycemic index foods have a low impact on blood sugar levels so they can be consumed safely by people with diabetes.
    • Since currants are relatively tart, be careful of all the added sugars in preparations like pies, tarts, and jams.
  • Fiber
    • Fresh currants contain 20% of the RDI for fiber.
      • Soluble fibers help keep blood sugar levels normal as well as reduce cholesterol.
      • Fiber-rich foods also help you keep feeling full longer, which will reduce your food cravings and keep you from overeating.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • Currants are densely packed with vitamin C. In fact, a serving of currants contains over 200% of the RDI for Vitamin C.
        • Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant which fights the effects of oxidative stress on the body and promotes cellular regeneration.
      • Currants also provide 12% RDI for both Iron and Manganese, which are essential for good metabolism and weight control.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 62.7 3%
  • Carbs: 15.5g 5%
  • Sugar: 8.3g
  • Fiber: 4.8g 19%
  • Protein: 1.6g 3%
  • Fat: 0.2g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 1.1mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 45.9mg 77%
  • Vitamin A 47.0IU 1%
  • Calcium 37mg 4%
  • Iron 1.1mg 6%
  • Potassium 308mg 9%
  • Vitamin E 0.1mg 1%
  • Vitamin K 12.3mcg 15%
  • Vitamin B6 0.1mg 4%
  • Folate 9mcg 2%
  • Magnesium 14.6mg 4%
  • Phosphorus 49.3mg 5%
  • Manganese 0.2mg 10%
  • Copper 0.1mg 6%
  • Zinc 0.3mg 2%

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