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Source for currants

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dasmueller's picture
dasmueller

Source for currants

I have been looking for a source for true currants ever since Trader Joe's stopped carrying them about 6 mos ago. Peter Rineharts latest book Artisaan Breads.. has a recipe for hot cross buns which calls for currants. In my quest all I have found are dried up shriveled zante currants/corinthian grapes not the nice plump currants we used to get at TJ's. Anybody have a source ?


 


Thanks !!


 


Don

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Small dried black grapes?   plump ones?   When I wash the shriveled ones and let them stand a littlle bit, they tend to absorb some water and plump up.   I got some overly plump ones in a little rum too.


(Also known as Currents, is a small tart fruit or berry that grow on a bush that come in white, red, and black.  Dried, these would be very small in comparison.  I tend to freeze these instead of drying them although I have seen them dried.)


Mini

dasmueller's picture
dasmueller

The currants we were previiously able to get from Trader Joe's were slightly wrinkly but not nearly to the extent that the zante raisins/currants/dried corinhian grapes are and the flavor is totally different.  They were about 1/2 the size of a blueberry.I have located them at Kendall fruits who tell me that they are what I was buying from TJ's. They however ship in 22 lb boxes which would be way more than we want.  Jam or jelly would probably work for baking but we also use them in a rice pilaf where the berry would be needed.


Have also located 5 lb bags of frozen which I may opt for. The dry has more appeal to me than frozen

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and not the raisins.  Beats me why two things can have the same name (since 1550) I like the other names.    I've seen dried cherries as well.  Tart like the cranberries Ann mentions and small.  Another option could be dried elderberries but they tend to be seedy, reminding me more of crunchy grapenut cereal.


I can see why you prefer dried. 


Mini

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

currant jam and just reduce liquids a bit.  In Germany, my mom grew currants, and I wound up picking them. They were quite tart if I remember correctly, so I am thinking that one could possibly exchange these for finely chopped cranberries.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...are actually dried grapes, or raisins de Corinthe.  The black currant that grows on bushes is never dried, to my knowledge, but usually made into jelly or jam, as are the red and white currants.  If you plump the dried currants in hot water, they can be quite luscious in baked goods.  I use them all the time in my Hot Crossers.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

I buy my currants by the case from Sunmaid Raisin company, they are nice clean currants packed in 10 ounce boxes. I get them sent from California to Ontario, no problem... qahtan


 Many people buy their currants from bulk food stores, cheaper but you have to pick them over  etc,,, no thanks I stay with Sunmaid,    their sultanas and raisins also.....

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

As the original poster stated: In the not so distant past, Trader Joes used sell genuine, dried, Black Currants. They were not any sort of raisin(grape).


suave's picture
suave

Тhere is nothing particularly "genuine" about black currants, it is an entirely different fruit.  Whenever an American recipe calls for currants without specifying which kind, it implies zante currants.  Simple as that.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

One has to quess most of the time.  Everyone knows that currant jam is the berry and not the raisin.  If the currants are red, they are not raisins and if you have ever grown currants you tend to think of berries before raisins.


I just saw "blue raisins" in the supermarket today and had to read if they were grapes or dried blueberries. 


Mini

suave's picture
suave

not true about that?  Can you think of one American bread recipe, yeasted or quick which says currants and means anything other than zante currants?  What you keep forgetting is that for one reason or another black currants are not grown commercially in the US, not on any appreciable scale at least, so to try blackcurrant jam one has to venture to international store, or be lucky enough to have a decent ethnic section in local supermarket.  So no, not everyone knows.

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Slightly off topic but I remember when I first arrived in America way back in 1967 and saw what I thought was Ribena, a lovely blackcurrant cordial, and how disappointed I was to find it was grape juice! Can't stand the stuff to this day, A.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Zante raisins are what I use, but they are not "currants" any more than a pineapple is an apple. Naming these raisins "zante currents" was basically a marketting ploy, I'd bet. This may have been due to the opportunity created by the 1911 U.S. ban on the domestic cultivation of black currents. (The forestry industry was convinced they carried a disease that destroyed timber trees.)


Currently, currants are again grown in the U.S. and are available, although not widely available. Here's a link to a grower/vendor in Upstate NY: The Current Company.


David

dasmueller's picture
dasmueller

David;


Thank you for your response. I believe I will order from the link you sent.  It is the same company I mentioned above w the frozen product. I will be curious to see how it all works out and in the meantime keep my eyes open for the dried product.


 


Don

suave's picture
suave

They were really called zante currants all along, if you care you can easily find references going quite a while back. 

dasmueller's picture
dasmueller

The Current Company


 


If anyone is interested Greegg Quinn from the Currant Co. informs me that they will have genuine dried black currants available in about one week. No details as to price or min order.


Thanks to all for your input


Don