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Funky Fruits: Currants

  • Mar 10, 2016

With the warmer months approaching, you’ll be heading back to the farmers market, and, if you’re lucky, you may stumble across a little fruit gem known as the currant.

Currants are much more popular and readily available in Europe than in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean you should count them out. Because they are susceptible to a white pine disease, they are sometimes banned in areas that boast a lot of pine trees, and because they are usually only harvested in small batches, your local farmers market (or neighbor down the street) might be your best bet for getting your hands (and baking utensils) on fresh currants.

When you do, be prepared for a bold, tart burst of goodness. Red currants, which are technically small seedless raisins (not to be confused with currant berries, which are used in jams and jellies), work particularly well in cake and cupcake recipes, while black and white currants are a tad sweeter. Whatever the color, they pair well with almonds and other nuts, chocolate and other fruits such as cherries and those of the citrus variety.

Consider tossing in a handful of currants the next time you’re whipping up cake batter or any other sweet baked treat. The tartness and sweetness provide just the right amount of contrast. Get ready for a sun-kissed, antioxidant-rich burst of flavor!

If you can’t find currants, opt for dried currants, though keep in mind that (just to add to the confusion) dried currants aren’t really currants at all but rather dried grapes.

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