Blackcurrant brings an acidulous and gourmet taste to our creations. It is one of our favorite fruits.
Blackcurrant, a gourmet fruit widely used in phytotherapy
Origins of blackcurrant
The Blackcurrant is a berry, the fruit of the shrub called "Blackcurrant bush".
The latter grows in the mountainous and cold regions of the Palearctic zone, the terrestrial ecozone of Europe, North Africa, part of Asia and the Middle East. Native to northern Europe and northern Asia, it is grown mainly in Scotland, Poland, Lithuania, Norway, France and New Zealand.
Cultivated in western France and more particularly in the Loire Valley in the 19th century, the Blackcurrant was previously referred to as "pepper" because of its similarity to pepper seeds. It was consumed as a table fruit. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, the Blackcurrant was given important medicinal properties, claiming that it could overcome all ailments.
Blackcurrant is a popular fruit and is endowed with many virtues and positive values. It is said that giving a branch of a blackcurrant bush means declaring one's great affection for someone.
Characteristics of blackcurrant
Name: Ribes nigrum
Species: Fruit shrub
The Blackcurrant bush is about 1 meter high, its maximum size can reach 1.5 meters. It has three- or five-lobed leaves and hanging greenish or reddish bunches of flowers. Its deep purple berries, almost black, have a musky and very fruity aromatic flavour. They are grouped in clusters on the branches of the tree. Blackcurrant leaves also give off a pleasant scent when crumpled. The flowers of the Blackcurrant bush are coloured dark red and appear in spring.
The Blackcurrant bush prefers moist, shaded soils to sunny and hot soils. It can withstand temperatures down to -23°C.
This vigorous and bushy shrub is very resistant to disease, productive and self-fertile. The first fruits appear in the second year of planting. This tree requires maintenance at the end of winter and annual cutting.
Uses of blackcurrant
Blackcurrant is used in the food, cosmetics and phytotherapy sectors. It can be eaten plain, be careful its very pronounced taste may seem bitter, or fresh with other fruits and citrus fruits for a sparkling fruit salad. It is also widely used in pies, jams and sorbets. Its sweet flavours are ideal for this type of confectionery! It can also be found as a garnish or sauce in salty dishes. Its association with duck, poultry or fish such as mackerel is a delight.
In phytotherapy, the berries, leaves and buds of the Blackcurrant are used. The leaves can be used to make a gargle to fight against sore throats and mouth ulcers. They are also delicious and virtuous in decoction. Simply infuse 50 grams of Blackcurrant leaves in a litre of boiling water to obtain a tasty infusion.
It is also aid that you can crumple the Blackcurrant leaves and express their juice on an insect bite (wasp, hornet) to relieve pain.
Benefits of blackcurrant
Renowned for its many virtues, each part of the Blackcurrant bush can be used for therapeutic purposes. Its leaves are anti-inflammatory, according to some specialists.
The fruit of the Blackcurrant bush contains sugars which gives it an amazing conservation unlike other citrus fruits and plants. Blackcurrant berry juice is known to fight infections.