White Currant Berries
Inventory, lb : 0
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White currants grow on woody shrubs that are approximately two meters tall. Delicate strands of the small round berries first appear green but later ripen into creamy shades of pink and translucent white, depending upon variety. Their soft pulpy flesh has a juicy texture and contains multiple small edible seeds. Though still quite tart, White currants are considerably sweeter than the black and red varieties, offering a floral aroma and flavors of sour cherry, kiwi, Muscat grape and a lingering residual sugar.
White currants are available in the summer.
White currants are botanically classified as Ribes sativum, the same species as red currants. They are technically an albino version of the red currant and can range in color from white, yellow or pink. As a rule, white fruits usually have a higher sugar content and lower acidity than their colored counterparts, and White currants are no exception. Unlike the red and black currant varieties which are generally considered to be too strong and tart for fresh eating, the White currant is perfectly sweet and mild. Some of the best varieties for either raw or cooked applications are, ‘Blanka’, ‘White Grape’ and ‘Versailles Blanche’.
White currants are the least nutritionally dense currant in comparison to red and black, however, they are still an excellent source of vitamin C.
Opposed to the red and black varieties, White currants are rarely used in savory applications. Their low acidity and sweet flavor profile is best reserved for desserts or other confections. Their high pectin content make them a natural choice for jams, jellies or tart fillings, though it is best to sieve out the small seeds. Suspend the pearly berries in gelatin or frozen fruit juice for a sophisticated popsicle. They can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried, and also make a stunning garnish when coated in castor sugar. Complimentary pairings include, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cream, clove, citrus fruits, tomatoes, juniper, ginger, strawberries, huckleberries, peaches, cherries, gin, basil, lemon verbena and mint.
White currants are a natural mutation of the red currant which has its ancestral roots in Central and Eastern Europe as well as parts of Asia. They are a cool-climate plant and considered a rare find at most farmer’s markets. The White currant is easily damaged due to its extra thin skin and should be handled with extreme care. To harvest, the entire berry-laden twig should be snipped from the bush, rather than the individual berries themselves.
People have spotted White Currant Berries using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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