Currant fruit is a popular staple in many households. While it is often mistaken for a certain type of berry or grape, the currant is actually a class to itself, and enjoys just as wide of a following as grapes and berries despite being treated otherwise. Because of this, currants have become a widely cultivated plant for commercial purposes on farms in Northern Asia and Northern Europe solely dedicated to producing currant fruit to feed the world.
Currants are harvested from a medium-sized shrub which grows up to 1.5 meters in height. The plant is often identifiable because of its broad, alternating leaf pattern and modest length of up to 5 centimeters as well as its typically palm-like design. The flowers are also noticeable, ranging from 4 to 6 centimeters in diameter with 5 petals in a reddish brown color. Some varieties of currant fruit plants are also identifiable because the plant itself is aromatic. The black currant tops this classification as all forms of the black currant plant exhibit that typical musky, currant smell.
Off course though pleasing to the eye, the currant plant is primarily useful for the currant fruit that it produces. Planting often happens in the spring but because the plant is sensitive to weeds, preparation can require a significant time. The area to be planted with currant fruit plants should be thoroughly de-weeded. Growers may also need to perform other tests to ensure that the soil type is fit for the fickle-minded currant fruit plant including testing for nematodes, as well as testing for the pH and nutrients in the soil.
Once the soil is ready, the plants can now be planted. If the conditions are right for growing, the plant should be ready for fruit-bearing in about a year’s time and will continue to remain so for many years after as long as it is properly cared for. For example, the plant requires annual pruning to stimulate growth as well as a keen eye on pest control to ensure the plant is not sickly and disease-ridden.
The popularity of the currant fruit stems from its high nutrient content which is ideal for those seeking a healthier diet. Currants contain high amounts of vitamin C – up to 300% of one’s recommended dietary intake per 100 grams of fruit – and high levels of phytochemicals, minerals like potassium, iron, and phosphorus as well as excellent amounts of Vitamin B5. It also contains Vitamin E as well as other rare antioxidants which are good for lowering the risk towards serious illnesses like cancer and heart attack.
If you are looking for another great addition to a healthy diet, currant fruit is a worthy candidate fitting of all considerations. With its extensive list of health benefits, easy accessibility, and affordability on the market, it’s a can’t-miss fruit that should definitely belong on every table.