We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Red Currants?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Red currants are the fruit of the Ribes redrum bush. Though native to Western Europe, they are grown in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and in some communities, they are a very popular delicacy. German and Scandinavian communities in particular enjoy products made with red currants, such as jams and pies, and there are a wide range of uses for these small, tart berries.

The red currant bush has lobed leaves and a rapid growth habit, maturing very quickly into a small shrub. Gardeners with less space sometimes train the bush to grow on trellises and other supports, creating a vine-like plant instead of a shrub. The bushes are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall and winter, and also extremely hardy, which may be why they are so popular in Northern Europe.

Where other plants fail, red currants will take root and thrive. They can grow in full sun to part shade, as long as the soil is rich and well drained and there is good air circulation in the area. Gardeners often place these bushes in areas of the garden where other plants have trouble growing, such as under shady trees, and when well-maintained, a bush can produce a sizable yield of berries every year.

Red currants grow in small clusters on the parent plant, and they are a bright, distinctive red with a hint of translucence. A closely related cultivar, the white currant, produces yellowish to white berries with a comparable flavor. High quality currants will be firm and juicy, with no signs of softening or mold, and they also have a very sharp, tart flavor which leads most people to prefer to use red currants in cooked dishes, rather than eating them raw.

These fruits may be used fresh in tarts, pies, jams, preserves, and so forth, and they can make an interesting alternative to traditional cranberry sauce or other fruit jellies. Red currant jam pairs well with pancakes, waffles, and other sweet foods as well. They may also be dried for inclusion in various baked goods, or for mixing in with other dried fruits for snacks; like dried cranberries, currants pack a punch, so they should be used with care.

Fresh red currents are typically only available in a narrow seasonal window during the summertime, so if you spot some, you should snag them. Dried red currants are available year round at large grocery stores and specialty stores, and it is sometimes also possible to find these berries in the frozen section at the market.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Catapult — On May 10, 2011

Sometimes dried red currants look almost exactly like raisins. When I was in Europe I bought some, thinking they were raisins. Once I took them home, though, I realized they were more of a spherical shape, rather than the more oval shape of raisins.

They are pretty interchangeable though, although there is a different taste.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.