Sep 20, 2012

The Currant Craze at Candy Babel

Black Currant Cream Filled Ropes at Candy Babel- Supply is limited get here quick!
The blackcurrant has been in domestic cultivation in Europe for up to 500 years. Its medicinal properties have been noted in various herbals. During World War II, most fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, became almost impossible to obtain in the United Kingdom. Since blackcurrant berries are a rich source of vitamin C and blackcurrant plants are suitable for growing in the UK climate, blackcurrant cultivation was encouraged by the British government. Soon, the yield of the nation's crop increased significantly. From 1942 on, almost the entire British blackcurrant crop was made into blackcurrant syrup (or cordial) and distributed to the nation's children free, giving rise to the lasting popularity of blackcurrant flavorings in Britain.

Black Currant
During the 20th century in Europe much hybridisation work has been carried out, in order to reduce the plant's susceptibility to disease and frost, also to increase yields. This effort centred especially on Russia, Sweden and Scotland, where the popular series of "Ben" cultivars was developed by the Scottish Crop Research Institute. Latterly, New Zealand has become an important centre for research and development, as its temperate climate is beneficial to cultivation.

Why don't  we see currants in the United States?

Blackcurrants were once popular in the United States as well, but became rare in the 20th century after currant farming was banned in the early 1900s, when blackcurrants, as a vector of white pine blister rust, were considered a threat to the U.S. logging industry. The federal ban on growing currants was shifted to jurisdiction of individual states in 1966, and was lifted in New York State in 2003 through the efforts of horticulturist Greg Quinn. As a result, currant growing is making a comeback in New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Oregon. However, several statewide bans still exist including Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Red Currant Jellies! also available at CB while  supply last!
Since the American federal ban curtailed currant production nationally for nearly a century, the fruit remains largely unknown in the United States, and has yet to regain its previous popularity to levels enjoyed in Europe or New Zealand. Owing to its unique flavor and richness in polyphenols, dietary fibre and essential nutrients, awareness and popularity of blackcurrant is once again growing, with a number of consumer products entering the market.

Red Currant
With maturity, the tart flavor of redcurrant fruit is slightly greater than its blackcurrant relative, but with the same approximate sweetness. The albino variant of redcurrant, often referred to as white currant, has the same tart flavor but with greater sweetness. Although frequently cultivated for jams and cooked preparations, much like the white currant, it is often served raw or as a simple accompaniment in salads, garnishes, or drinks when in season.

No comments:

Post a Comment