I had planted them in my new orchard area and left them for two seasons without pruning them, as instructed. I had carefully netted them to stop the birds from getting them, so these were precious berries indeed.
Blackcurrants are incredibly nutritious, with high levels of vitamin C, anthocyanins and other antioxidants. Although they are high in natural sugars, their intense acidity means that the overriding taste profile is sour. This means that they can add flavour and colour to savoury dishes without unwanted sweetness. They can be eaten fresh but most commonly are made into jelly, jam, juice, ice cream, cordial and liqueur.
They freeze very well and can be added to recipes when needed. The New Zealand Blackcurrants website lists all sorts of ways of using black currants:
- excellent in smoothies, particularly with bananas or tropical fruits like mangos
- with lamb as a salsa, pickle or sauce
- with smoked salmon
- blackcurrants and honey drizzled over Greek yoghurt
- blackcurrant mayonnaise as a dipping sauce for BBQ prawns or vegetables
- blackcurrant and dark chocolate
- in gelatos
But I wanted to enjoy the berries themselves rather than lose them with too many other flavours, so I decided to try the recommendation that “blackcurrants, tomato and mint are a surprising combination that goes with just about anything but even better as its own salad course”. I made a blackcurrant, tomato and mint salad with home-made feta.