Currants: what are the best tasting


Ribes nigrum is from europe and is what is thought of when saying blackcurrant. the rest i mentioned are from north america but taste completely different. the golden currant actually has some that have gold or orange/ red berries. I’m not sure if they can crossbreed between the American and Europen types. i know the Ameirican species can.


So the picture from “bifig” above is a Golden and mine are Crandalls. Not the same, but closely related. From the available pictures they do indeed look the same, but thanks for the clarity. I assume that the Goldens do not have the “clove” scented flowers, is that correct?


yes they look very similar. they both have small leaves with rounded tips. not sure if they smell the same. mine haven’t flowered yet.


Coming late to this thread… I have concluded after trialing dozens of red and black currants that Minaj is in a league by itself as far as being able to take the heat. They are also my favorite tasting black currant, at least of the ones I tried. Red Lake has also endured for me, my bushes must be at least 15 years old now; they are in the shade though whereas Minaj can take the sun. About 20 varieties died over the years. For gooseberries only Poorman survived, lots of dead ones there as well.


We are now bringing Black and Red Currants to our farmers market. Most days, Black Currants don’t sell at all. One market, however, one customer bought all we had. He ages them in vodka for flavoring.


Well not that good for fresh eating, having said that I love them! BY FAR my favorite type of currant. I used to love reds, but the more blacks I grow, the more I’m becoming a fan. I now have 14 different cultivars, and I want one more, kirovchanka as Lee Reich said it was his favorite. His books have helped me a lot, so very curious about it. I can see why the guy bought them all, I can’t get enough of them. I make mostly cordials with them, I make a syrup to die for. Great on ice cream, makes a mean vodka martini too! I hate drinking plain water, so I flavor with the syrup which has low sugar, I don’t use very much. Not to mention jam, but I never made it, I need all of them for mentioned uses. I agree though people just are not familiar with them and how to really get the most out of them. I thought my wife would hate them, she loves them! She is so picky! Make some syrup or jam, have it to sample, maybe you will sell more. You could sell them as jam too. Have samples for people to try. You invested this much, a little more may help.
One member here with extra tree fruit that he could not sell made pies, and brought them to the market. Long story short, he bought a commercial oven to handle the unbelievable demand for his family’s pies.

Too much work, just add the syrup!


i had my friends 83 yr. old mother try the jam. she was blown away how good it was! she’s the proud owner of 2 of my rooted consort cuttings that are producing for her this summer. :wink:


The berries might not be great for fresh eating but they are most excellent for making wine. We make a mead with blackcurrants called Black Agnes and it’s quite likely our most popular one. We’ve been making blackcurrant mead for years now, and the popularity has caught on in a huge way in our industry. I’d wager that most modern meaderies in the U.S. have at least one blackcurrant mead in their lineup, if not several variations; it’s just that good!

I sincerely hope to find more blackcurrant (and red, and white!) growers in the U.S. as I’d vastly prefer to support local farms and small businesses over the international imports.


The mead sounds great. I thought of making wines but I just don’t have the time or space. I do infuse vodka, but that is easy and takes no space. So I have to buy those products and I try to buy local.


if it were legal to grow black currant here id buy some acreage and help you out but this states more worried about WPBR in the pine trees than helping farmers grow more organic fruits.


You must teach people about black currants. They are the best!


I think black currants can be an aquired taste. I have been growing them for about six years. The first two years of tasting the currants, i did’nt like them. But now, i like eating them directly off of the bush. In addition to jams, they taste good in bunt cakes.


Once you remove the seeds from the purée , Currant purée makes the best sorbet!


Has anyone ever grown ebony black currants? According to articles that i have read, they are twice the size and muchmsweeter than most other currants. I just placed an order for three plants.


where are they offered? never heard of them.


I found ebony black currants from They are from the Uk and will ship to the USA.


They root extremely easily. Just poke some dormant twigs into the bare ground in fall about 4-6 inches and most will sprout in spring and grow into a bush. No need to buy more than one of any variety. Wish I had known that sooner. I was able to start more black consorts before learning that I absolutely can’t stand them nor their jam.


i like mine so much i barely add any sweeter to my jam. :wink:


May be coincidence…I’m no expert…yet…but I also found Rovada less vigorous than other reds and Pink Champagne…assuming they are not mislabeled…are very slow to establish…not vigorous.


I started some ‘Blackdown’ just this past year so I can’t report on the taste…they are reputed to be good flavour…I was glad to have been able to order these…I have Ben Conan’s which are very productive…and my oldest ones which I have lost track of the name…but I’m fairly sure were Ojebyn …they were easier to get hold of (local nursery) and now after all these years I have discovered they have a nicer sweet flavour off the bush…but you would not have thought so to read the available online descriptions at the time I was selecting them…they were old hat… It seems to me that those developing newer varieties with undoubtedly good qualities bred into them are talking them up…so you wouldn’;t know that the flavours, in the end are no better or not even as good as what’s in your local nursery…so it seems the ones that get great write-ups are not necessarily the best…also, some I bought at a local nursery labelled “Wellington”( I cannot say if these are the same as “Wellington XXX”)…but I do prefer their flavour straight off the bush to the Ben Conan…I also have just recently had fruit on my “Magnus” black currant and found these to be more agreeable straight off the bush…so that is 2 varieties from New Zealand that have sweeter more agreeable flavour straight off the bush. Note, I believe Magnus was listed as being less hardy…survived winter here in 5b …so far.