The white currant or whitecurrant is a group of cultivars of the red currant (Ribes rubrum), a species of flowering plant in the family Grossulariaceae, native to Europe. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1 m (3 ft) tall and broad, with palmate leaves, and masses of spherical, edible fruit (berries) in summer. The white currant differs from the red currant only in the colour and flavour of these fruits, which are a translucent white and sweeter. It is sometimes mislabelled as Ribes glandulosum,[deprecated source] (which is the skunk currant in USA).
|Hybrid parentage||Ribes rubrum (red currant)|
|Origin||Central and Eastern Europe|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||234 kJ (56 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||4.3 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Currant bushes grow best in partial to full sunlight and can be planted between November and March in well-drained, slightly neutral to acid soil. They are relatively low-maintenance plants, but are considered cool-climate plants and fruit better in northern areas. They can also be grown in large containers.
The firm and juicy fruit are usually harvested in summer. Whole trusses of fruits should be cut instead of individual fruit, and then either used, or they can be stored in a fridge. They can also be bagged and frozen.
The cultivar 'White Grape' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. There are also cultivars with yellow and pink fruit, called respectively yellow currants and pink currants.
White currant berries are slightly smaller and sweeter than red currants. When made into jams and jellies the result is normally pink. The white currant is actually an albino cultivar of the red currant but is marketed as a different fruit. White currants are rarely specified in savoury cooking recipes compared with their red counterparts. They are often served raw and provide a sweetly tart flavor. White currant preserves, jellies, wines and syrups are also produced. In particular, white currants are the classic ingredient in the highly regarded Bar-le-duc or Lorraine jelly although preparations made of red currants can also be found.
- "Whitecurrants". rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- Don, Monty (30 March 2012). "Currant affairs: Red, white or black, the best currants are those picked from your own bush, and there's no better time to plant one". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- Klein, Carol (2009). Grow your own fruit. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845334345.
- "White Currant Berries". specialtyproduce.com. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- Hamilton, Geoff (1990). The Ornamental Kitchen Garden. London: BBC Books. p. 229. ISBN 0563360178.
- "Ribes rubrum 'White Pearl'". victoriananursery.co.uk. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Ribes rubrum 'White Grape'". Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Bar-Le-Duc Jelly". cooksinfo.com. Retrieved 29 January 2017.