Blackcurrant is often used for flavoring, but what is it, exactly? In this article, we'll share with you everything we know about the taste, texture and uses of blackcurrant.
Let's dive right in...
What Does Blackcurrant Taste Like?
Blackcurrant is a berry grown in Europe that looks like a small purple-black grape. (But it's not a grape!)
When fresh, it tastes tart like a passion fruit with a dark berry flavor not unlike raspberry, but it's distinctly earthy. Dried blackcurrant is sweet like grapes with a raisin-like quality.
Blackcurrants are like typical berries with thin skins and juicy, soft interiors. They also contain chewy seeds that you eat together with the whole berry.
The most notable thing about blackcurrant texture is the juiciness. This is probably unsurprising as most berries are generally super pulpy and moist. And of course, when dried, blackcurrant is denser, chewier and drier.
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What Does Blackcurrant Smell Like?
Blackcurrant actually has a strong grape sort of smell, though crossed with cherry. Fresh blackcurrants also have a sort of acidic quality in the aroma.
Dried blackcurrants smell more perfumy with notes of vanilla and wildflower. Their earthiness may also be amplified.
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Is Cassis a Blackcurrant?
"Cassis" refers to a sweet, alcoholic cordial with blackcurrant flavor. Cassis is not the same thing as blackcurrant, but rather a product made with blackcurrants.
A blackcurrant is the berry of the Ribes nigrum shrub. The similarity between cassis and blackcurrent is in the colloquial terminology referring to flavor. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you see something labelled as "cassis" in terms of flavor, it's going to taste like blackcurrant.
What Flavors Go with Blackcurrant?
So many flavors go with blackcurrant that the possibilities are seemingly endless. Sweet, savory, peppery, tangy and smokey flavors are all examples of tastes that will blend well with blackcurrant.
Because blackcurrant has an intense taste, it's probably best to pair with other relatively hearty flavors as to not overwhelm the dish you're preparing. Walnuts might be good to match the potency of blackcurrant while pear might be too mild to compete.
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Blackcurrant Serving Tips
Wondering what you can do with your blackcurrants? Check out this videos for a fabulous, step-by-step guide to vegan blackcurrant and banana ice cream.
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For this frozen treat, you'll need blackcurrant powder, bananas, nondairy milk, coffee granules, cacao nibs, cacao butter and maple syrup. As a bonus, it's totally healthy even though it tastes decadent.
Blackcurrant has a wonderfully deep, tart flavor that's more earthy than other berries and much sweeter when dried. Though blackcurrants are not to be confused with raisins, dried blackcurrants may be compared to raisins in taste and texture. Making desserts and jams are popular ways of incorporating blackcurrant into your diet, but don't forget to explore the savory meals and sauces you can make, too.