[NAFEX] Black currant taste/flavor/aroma

Ed Forest edforest55 at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 6 07:25:59 EST 2004

Ed M wrote:
I have consumed juice made from each and they are very good.

What I have been trying to get at all along is: What do you mean by "GOOD!"
High sugar, high acid, balanced, high in aromas, if so what aroma? I have 
now tasted two black currants: Consort and Ben Sarek and there doesn't seem 
to be much of a difference in sugar, acid, the balance of the two or aroma. 
The Consort was juicier and larger but that may be because it is an older 

Ed M wrote:
I personally think that Ribena (from Ben Lomand) is the best that I have 

What about its tastes makes it "BETTER?" I it significantly better?

Ed M wrote:
I have tasted juices from a number of countries and sources, I like all of 
them but they are different.

How are they "DIFFERENT"? Is there something I might be missing?

Ed M wrote:
Kevin, I seriously doubt that you could discern  the difference in home
products made by different cultivars.

Then selection for home use does not need to be based on flavor/taste, 
correct? Doesn't this contradict your previous opinions about "GOOD" and 
"BETTER" and "DIFFERENT" stated above? The rest of your post seems to 
suggest that selection for taste in  commercial use is important, why is it 
not important in home use and conversely important for commercial use?

Ed M wrote:
The end product is the result of a blend of all the ingredients more so than 
the flavor of black currant fruit.

What else is in the end product besides flavor?

Ed M wrote:
If you like what you have, by all means, stick with it.

If they all end up tasting the same, why worry at all "sticking with" a 
particular cultivar?

Ed M wrote:
Breeding for taste is high on the list of characteristics we strive for.

What is considered good in taste?

Ed, I am not trying to be difficult, I love black currants and really want 
to learn more about them but I am not understanding what the flavor/taste 
criteria are for them. It seems that since they have such a strong aroma 
that is even somewhat repulsive at first, that this aroma is an acquired 
taste, one that, like other acquired tastes, are sought after specifically 
for that taste (aroma). I have heard many Europeans say how much they wish 
they could have some black currant products here in the States and I think 
they so fondly miss it because it is a stand out aroma that also reminds 
them of home. Therefore I would think that that aroma (which I describe as 
being like cat urine)  would be a top priority in breeding. Is it?
I could set out to try to taste all of the end products of the different 
varieties to see that I have a good selection but it could save a lot of 
time if we could begin describing the different taste qualities in black 
currants so that we can learn what it is about the flavor/taste/aroma that 
we like and seek out other cultivars with the same traits. But if, like you 
said, they all come out tasting the same, then it wouldn't be worthwhile to 
even try other cultivars.
This question is at the center of fruit exploring, asking these questions is 
what makes us nafexers, IMHO. But if there isn't really the variability in 
taste in black currants as in other fruits, as you have seemed to suggest, 
then I won't even start going that route.
Thank you for your time and I have learned a lot at this point
Kevin B

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