In season late spring: Blackcurrants

These small round berries have a glossy, very dark purple skin and a woody-looking calyx.

The plants thrive in New Zealand but it can be difficult to find them in stores. So, if you don’t grow your own, befriend a neighbour with a bountiful blackcurrant bush.


Try to use berries immediately or freeze. To ensure berries don’t freeze in one clump spread them evenly on an oven tray before freezing then transfer berries into a bag or container.


As well as vitamin C blackcurrants contain carotenoids, phenolics and vitamin E. These are all important antioxidants.


Think of Ribena to imagine the taste of blackcurrants. They have a strong, tart flavour so are often paired with sweet ingredients.

  • Make blackcurrant jam or jelly.
  • Add blackcurrants to a fruit crumble.
  • When making muffins replace your usual berry of choice with blackcurrants.
  • Try your hand at a blackcurrant meringue pie. The vibrant colour is striking paired with the white meringue.
  • Make a blackcurrant and mint sorbet for a refreshing dessert.
  • Make blackcurrant sauce and serve with lamb or pork.

Did you know? There are also white and red currants.

First published: Nov 2013

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