Thursday, July 30, 2015

Red Currant

Red currants (rips) are one of those berries that seem to be a staple here in Norwegian gardens.

The taste of the red currant is sweet and tangy. The berry itself is slightly firm on the outside, watery inside, with a tiny seed in the middle. This year the ones in our garden were perfectly ripe and delicious. There's something about them that almost reminds me of pomegranates..

In France there is a very luxurious jelly made of whole seeded currants called Bar-le-duc. Traditionally the berries for this particular jam are de-seeded by hand using goose quills to preserve the fruit's integrity. It was also said to be Ernest Hemmingway's favorite. Wild.

Here in Norway they are typically eaten raw as a garnish on top of cakes or puddings. They also make a delightful sorbet and a popular jelly (sans berries) to accompany wild game:

Making the traditionally Norwegian jelly is not so difficult. The berries are cooked in water and the fruit discarded before adding sugar and allowing the mixture to gel. Because red currants are naturally high in pectin, it gels very easily without any extra ingredients.

The bright red berries produce a deep, almost wine colored jelly

A little bored with the usual and wanting to try something new, I made this salsa the other day with red currant, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, coriander and mint. Delicious! Would make again. The recipe was adapted / inspired by an article on The Guardian listing their favorite pomegranate dishes.

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