I’ve been suspicious of those fruits sold as currants by SunMaid and others for quite some time. They look like they’ve been chopped to be small. Started a web search, and found that Zante currants are actually small dried Corinth grapes from a Greek / Ionian island called Zante. And that currants were banned by the US government early last century because they were implicated in an indirect way with a disease in white pines.
So an enterprising farmer named Greg Quinn has found a disease resistant strain, and is growing and selling them under CropPharm, and has persuaded New York State to make them legal. In the meantime, currants have been found to be full of anti-oxidants, and are being shown to have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s.
But I remember currants from when I was a kid, and they were tart and wonderful – red currants and black currants. So that’s what I wanted for this year’s Christmas bread making and next year’s Irish soda bread. So the minute I found the CropPharm website, I ordered 4# of them, and they came yesterday.
They’ve have a bit of natural evaporated cane juice added, but are still tart and wonderful. Yet another reason why this year’s Christmas will be one of the best ever! [Of course – they all are! : > ]