Photo: Black Currants, David MacTavish, Hutchinson Farm, Burlington, ON, June 27, 2012
Grown at Hutchinson Farm since the 1980's. Available mid June - late July 2016.

Ribes nigrum, Ribes rubrum

Nibbling in the patch is rarely seen due to the tartness of the currant, but cook sugar, black currants, and a splash of water, and you've got one of the most delicious jams imaginable. Currants have been cultivated in Europe for over 500 years, but here in North America they are not nearly as popular, possibly due to a 100 year ban in the United States that was just recently lifted. Our current currants were planted in 2011. Black currants are full of good things for you like antioxidants (even more than blueberries), but we eat them because they taste good!
  • In season
    Mid June to late July.
    Red typically begin a couple of weeks after strawberries, and black currants follow in 2-3 weeks. The black are at their best when picked very ripe. Our currants are only available as "pick-your-own".

  • Picking Tips
    Lift up the branches! A cluster of red currants often ripens together, so it is often possible to pick the entire cluster, instead of one at a time.
    Teamwork: grab a picking partner, one of you lifts the heavily laden branch, then the other can pick with two hands!

  • Storing at home
    Currants may be refrigerated up to one week.

  • Cultivars
    Black: Titania
    Red: Jonkheer von Tets

  • Preserve

  • Classic Recipes

    4 cups black currants
    1 cup water
    3 cups sugar

    Bring black currants and water to a full rolling boil for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower heat and add sugar. (If too tart add sugar to taste, I don't like mine too sweet.) Simmer ten minutes longer. Pour into sterilized jars. Let sit on counter 24 hours without jiggling.

    This recipe may need more or less water depending on the season. You will learn from experience what it should look like. It should set firmly without being tough. If it is too tough re cook a few minutes with a bit more water and re-bottle.

  • Favourite Recipes
    Jam, jelly, Cassis...