[NAFEX] Black currant taste; red rasp rot

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Mon Jul 17 08:51:55 EDT 2006

Thanks for your input.  Agreed that the red and white currants taste largely
similar within each group, and that there's much taste variety in the

As for professional tasting ability to distinguish black currants, the
ability to discern levels of sugars, acids, bitterness, and total amounts
and varieties of aromatics are both inherited (genetic) and learned, to
various degrees.    There also are 'nontasters' in any cross section of
humans, who notice no difference when presented with a range of certain

Differences are there in black currants; granted they might not be noticed
because so many of us eat with our eyes:
The most popular (western) Euro black currants look much alike and are
selected for a certain set of taste characters, and since so much of our
modern food breeding, purchasing and presentation depends on eye appeal,
these black currants come across as very similar.  I'd be curious to do two
taste tests with black currants, one with blindfolded tasted testers, and
one without the blindfolds, asking participants to describe the differences
in the fruits.  My kids can tell you the taste differences between our black
currant cultivars; they much prefer some over others.  But to look at this
group of fruit, they are rather boring.
Tom noted in his post yesterday that apples have a much wider variety of
tastes.  I wonder how much fruit shape, size and color variation affect our
overall sensory perceptions.

Another point from me the black currant cheerleader:
Currants can hang for weeks once ripe, without fungal breakdown.  Sure beats
the pants off "what to do with those ripe red raspberries before they rot".

Richard Moyer
East TN

Message: 5
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 23:11:16 -0800
From: "K Q" <kumquat at operamail.com>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Black currant taste
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <20060717071116.3DB87244F9 at ws5-3.us4.outblaze.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

I have also sampled the Corvallis currants in the past. Most of the European
bred blacks pretty much all taste alike. If you can tell any difference, you
should be working as a professional taster for a salary somewhere!

I found the major differences in the blacks to be plant growth habit and
size of berry. There are some very large berries. Most of the Euro blacks
have smallish to medium berries.

Also, there are a few strains of American black currants (from Kansas, I
think) that are pretty tasty. None of the Euro taste at all. And not really
like Crandall either, which I thought was pretty insipid (as grown in

The red currants all taste pretty much alike, same goes for white currants.
Not much variation in taste on those two.

The gooseberries were VERY interesting. Some could not stand full sun at
all, others thrived on it. Many subtle flavor variations made it very
interesting. Some gooses have so many spines on the fruit you cannot even
eat them. A goat might like them. I think they are wild forms.
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