Currant

Cultivated currants, of the family Saxifragaceae, are currant-bearing shrubs grown in the temperate and cold regions of both North and South America. Currants are extremely cold hardy, and their culture extends nearly to the Arctic Circle. Red and white currants are Ribes sativum, and black currants are R. nigrum. The flowering currant is R. odoratum. The black currant produces a more vigorous plant with a higher yield and stronger flavor than the other types and is probably more important commercially; however, it is a minor crop. A hybrid of black currant and gooseberry named Jostaberry is even more vigorous and produces fruit that looks like a black currant except larger Jostaberries are attracting the interest of home gardeners. Currants are used to make jams and jellies and as a very flavorful juice concentrate for addition to other juices. Dried currants are not from the Ribes genus but are dried grapes from the Black Corinth cultivar of V. vinifera. They are sometimes called Zante currants.

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