Whether you’re a fan of the fruit already or have always wanted to discover what the fuss was about? This guide will help you buying currants.
The currant is a tiny yet controversial berry-like fruit that’s most delicious in scones, jams, jellies, and so much more!
Currants are packed with Vitamin C but offer lots of antioxidants and anthocyanins to boost your immune system. These properties make currants a wise choice when you’re looking for a natural way to soothe the symptoms of the flu or ease the pain and bothersome nature of a sore throat.
Stick around to learn everything there is to know about buying currants with this comprehensive shopper’s guide.
What to Look for When Buying Currants
Currants are grown in clumps like grapes on a vine, so you may see fresh options still on the stem at your local grocery store. When shopping for in-season currants, ripe berries will be about 1/4-inch in diameter with a round, firm berry.
Ensure freshness by making sure the fruit is round and firm to the touch as any soft berries indicate less than fresh produce. You should also avoid any packages of currants that claim to be seedless, as these are always grapes masquerading as currants.
How Much Do Currants Cost
While not much agricultural information can be found on the web regarding the currants price per pound, the table on page nine of this pdf break down the cost nicely.
You can find fresh currants at a farm to pick your own, at a retailer or a wholesaler at prices ranging from just under seven dollars to roughly $11 per pound. Dried currants come in close with a price of around six dollars a pound. Frozen currants can be a bit more expensive as they can be shipped in large quantities ranging around seven dollars a pound, but totaling over $100 per order.
Also Read: Is is costly to eat healthfully?
Where Currants Grow in The U.S.
Currants were banned in the U.S. in 1911 because they were thought to create a fungus harmful to the native pine trees, but they have been making a comeback in recent years.
You’ll find that many of the U.S. farmers that cultivate the fruit are located in states like New York in the northeast; there are also farmers harvesting the plant in the pacific northwest for items like jams, jellies, teas and oils, to name a few products.
What is The Best Season To Buy Currants
Currants have a very small window in which they hit their prime every year. You can find them on vines much like grapes in the late spring and early summer months.
The Colorful Options To Choose
There are many different hues of color found on the vines when looking at currants, but the most popular options you’ll find at the market are red, white, pink and black.
The white, red, and pink are essentially the same variety with a wide range of colors depending on when the fruit was harvested from the plant.
What Quantity To Buy
The amount of currants you purchase is entirely dependent on what your intended purpose is for the fruit. If you’re making something like a jam or jelly, then you’ll probably want to get several pounds of the fruit.
However, if you’re planning on enjoying the tart treat in a scone or straight from the vine, then you should consider sticking to a one-pound purchase, so you don’t have to worry about any food waste.
Three Ways to Buy Currants
There are three different ways you can purchase currants on the market, fresh, frozen, and dried. You may only be able to find the fresh currants on the shelf in the late spring and early summer months of the year, but frozen and dried can be found nearly any time of the year when you know where to look.
If you’re shopping for frozen currants, then you’re in luck! Shopping frozen enables you to purchase several pounds of the tart berry at once so that you can stock up. The only downfall to buying currants this way is the carbon footprint it creates. All that shipping material and resources used aren’t as friendly to the planet as picking the fruit from the vine.
Buying dried currants gives you the same benefits and downfalls with one advantage; you can choose how many pounds you want to purchase at a time. Dried fruit will also last much longer than fresh or frozen, so it’s a great healthy staple to keep in your pantry.
Alternatives to Buying Currants
Because currants are still working on their comeback, they are not as easily found as more common fruits like apples or bananas. However, fruits like raisins, chopped soft prunes, black pitted dates and dried cranberries can be an excellent alternative to currants.
Also Read: How to buy fresh cranberries
Where to Buy Currants
You can typically locate currants in the dried foods aisle of your grocery store in the off-season and in the produce section in the spring and early summer if you’re shopping fresh.
Shop for fresh and dried currants online throughout the year at the previously linked shops above to enjoy these tasty berries all year round!
Now that you know everything there is about shopping for currants here in the states be sure to keep an eye out for this unique fruit at the market to enjoy its immune-boosting benefits!
Dried red currants can be used in a variety of ways, such as adding them to baked goods, salads, oatmeal, and trail mix. They can also be rehydrated by soaking them in water or juice and used in recipes that call for fresh currants.