Scandinavian Blackcurrant

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Scandinavian Blackcurrant

Blackcurrants have their home in the north of Norway, their ‘gene center’ which is where the generic variation of the wild plants is most varied. Read on and learn more about Scandinavian blackcurrant.

Blackcurrant thrive in the cool climate all over Scandinavia, as long as they are grown in full sun, as their Danish/Norwegian name solbær (“sun berry”), implies.

How it grows

Blackcurrant bushes spread easily – their branches taking root wherever they touch the ground – and can grow to an impressive size; an old bush can reach 5×5 square meters.

Scandinavian Blackcurrant
Blackcurrant thrive in the cool climate all over Scandinavia. Photo: Bama

Appearance and teste

The berries are juicy, thick-skinned and almost black, a deep purple on the outside, a rich reddish purple inside. The most intensely flavored berry in the north, blackcurrants are not to everyone’s taste. But to us who love them, they are a marvel. The taste of fresh and cooked blackcurrants is so different that you would not imagine it was the same berry, if you did not know. Fresh berries are more like blueberries and have a definite fresh taste, much like the smell of fresh blackcurrant leaves. Once cooked, they become more intense.

Scandinavian Blackcurrant
The berries are juicy, thick-skinned and almost black, a deep purple on the outside, a rich reddish purple inside. Photo: Plantasjen

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Related: All About Cloudberries, And The Growing Hype Around This Scandinavian Fruit
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Buying and storing

Blackcurrants are best when freshly picked; they will keep for a day or two in the fridge, but the taste will deteriorate. They freeze well, and the taste stays more or less intact.

Health benefits

Blackcurrants are full of vitamin C, especially when raw. They also contain antioxidants, iron and calcium, and plenty of essential minerals.

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Related: Scandinavians and Strawberries
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Scandinavian Blackcurrant
An uncooked jam (made with lingonberry) is a beautiful thing with all kinds of pork, veal, venison, game, cheese, pancakes and ice cream. Photo: Norrek dypfryst

Culinary uses

Blackcurrants make wonderful jams and cordials, of course. The sourness and intensity of the berries forbid eating them raw, but an uncooked jam (made with lingonberry) is a beautiful thing with all kinds of pork, veal, venison, game, cheese, pancakes and ice cream. Blackcurrant jam is made like raspberry jam.

You can make a purple fool by mixing equal amounts of fresh blackcurrant and sugar, until the sugar has dissolved, mashing slightly, and then folding in double that amount of whipped cream. Blackcurrants are also delicious made into ice cream. Whiz together200g blackcurrants and 200g sugar and add it to a cardamom ice cream.

Scandinavian Blackcurrant
The leaves of blackcurrants are like a magic wand of concentrated currant flavor that you can wave about, imbuing intensity to pickles, hams, cordials and herbal teas. . Photo: Spar

The leaves of blackcurrants are like a magic wand of concentrated currant flavor that you can wave about, imbuing intensity to pickles, hams, cordials and herbal teas. Blackcurrant leaves are a classic ingredient in pickled beetroot and gherkins: add a few leaves to the jar before pouring over the hot liquid.

Scandinavian Blackcurrant, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top): Åge Jørgensen, Nibio. Photo © Nibio/Anne Kvitvær

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