Blackcurrant: sweet and savory super fruit
Blackcurrant, the darkest of all berries is considered a "super-fruit" for its nutritional virtues: antioxidant, vitamin C, calcium, iron, etc. It is also an anti-inflammatory, a skin healer and contributes to reducing high blood pressure and relieving rheumatism. These medicinal virtues, lauded for centuries, including as a remedy against gout, have been studied for centuries. In France, it was widely used in crème de cassis (originally known as ratafia) and was made famous when it became the basis for kir, named after the cocktail of Burgundy white and crème the cassis, made famous by the Reverend Canon Kir, who gave his name to the drink. In Britain, during WWII, when vitamin C-rich fruit, such as oranges, became rare, locally grown blackcurrant were encouraged to make syrups, leading to the development of a British classic, Ribena (derived from its scientific name Ribes nigrum). Blackcurrants are extremely versatile, used for their aromas and striking color to make desserts, pastries, sorbets and in fruit salads: coulis, syrups, jams, jellies, etc. It is also used in savory dishes for its powerful fragrance and its complex mix of acidity, sourness and floral notes.