[NAFEX] Black currant taste

Thomas Olenio tolenio at sentex.net
Mon Jul 17 07:50:01 EDT 2006


I have a number of currantsl

	Red Lake

	Ben Lomond
	jostaberry (goose/currant cross)

To my taste they break into three groups

	Spicy - Titantia/Ben Lomond

	Non Spicy red - Red Lake/Cherry

	Non Spicy black -Crandall/Buffalo/Jostaberry

Within each varietal group, I have no idea which is the superio berry.


On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 20:31:14 -0400, Richard Moyer <ramoyer at gmail.com>  

>  Tom,
> The USDA-ARS has their currant collection at the NCGR facility in  
> Corvallis,
> OR.  There are dozens and dozens of black currant cultivars there.  I had
> the privilege of tasting each one of these over multiple weeks in 2000,  
> and
> many of them again one week last summer.
> Hence I can vouch that there's much more flavor variety in black currants
> than is commonly available from catalogs.  If you can't make it to  
> Corvallis
> in mid-June through July, consider visiting Ed Mashburn in central PA,  
> for a
> sense of what's possible.
> Have you ever compared Consort, Coronet or Crusader to your Titania or  
> Ben
> Lomond?  The first three are markedly different than the latter two, and  
> to
> a person agreed by breeders and major growers I've asked as markedly
> inferior in taste.
> Also, have you tried the American currant "Crandall"?  It's a different
> species than the above and ripens much later, and is different in flavor  
> yet
> again.
> My (dated) impression is that western European breeding for currants is
> market driven by some major processors, such as for the drink Ribena.   
> Hence
> those selections that are markedly different in flavor may not be  
> selected
> and released as much current breeding is privately financed with specific
> goals in mind.
> But there is a lot of variety in the eastern European material, and in  
> the
> traditional western European cultivars, such as the older cultivars from
> England.
> Finally, Harry Swarz (sp?) from U. of Maryland has been doing some black
> currant breeding and selecting for berries that are more acceptable for
> fresh eating.  The one I have differs quite a bit from Titania.
> As for descriptors of taste, black currants are extremely high in
> total phenolics, much higher than raspberries, blackberries, blueberries  
> or
> gooseberries.  Much of the depth of aromas and flavors in the fruit,  
> fruit
> products and teas from the leaves are from these phenolics (a major  
> class of
> plant chemicals).
> Major notes for me are citrus and conifer.  Food chemists have  
> characterized
> these fully, but I do not have that work in easy reach.
> Richard Moyer
> East Tenn
> 'Crandall' currants in season now.
> Tom wrote:
> Some may disagree, but I find the scent of black currants invigorating  
> and
> healthy.  Just started picking my Ben Lomond.
> I have a question... (or two)
> How is the taste of a black currant variety rated?
> I find the Titania is a bit sweeter, but lacks some of the spicyness of  
> the
> Ben Lomond.  Some spicyness of Ben Lomond comes through as an  
> aftertaste.  I
> would rate the Ben Lomond the better berry, but only by a titch.
> It is not like comparing apples where taste can be so diverse.
> Second...
> Is there a good black currant tea recipe (leaves/stems/berries) out  
> there?
> So how do currant varietiess get rated (flavorwise)?
> Thanks,
> Tom


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