Currants in dried form are known as Zante currants. They are one of the oldest known raisins. People use them for baking, where dried fruits are usually involved. The zante currants are small, sweet, seedless, and a Black Corinth.
They are just called currants, and you can savor and enjoy fresh white, black, pink, red, and dried black currants in several ways.
It is true that currants, especially black currants, were banned in several parts of the United States. Hence, people have resolved to finding other close currant substitutes. That said, some of the best substitutes for currant are raisins, dried cherries and cranberries.
In today’s article, we’re going to show you some of the other alternatives to currant that you can start using today.
What are Currants?
Often referred to as Zante currants, these are small, soft, sweet, seedless, and dried grapes.
Currants are usually dried up for up to three weeks before they turned dark. Before they turn dark, they are typically white, ruby red, or pink.
Best Substitutes for Currant
Due to the US banning currants, these fruits have become a scarce commodity. Despite making their comeback in cities such as Newyork, they remain inaccessible to some people. Due to their scarcity, substitutes for currants are essential.
That said, some of the best alternatives for currants include:
Just like currants, raisins are sweet, small, and seedless. It would be best if you left them to dry for three weeks for preservation purposes.
You can also use raisins as substitutes for currants in baking as well as cooking. Raisins are also a safer option since they are legal in all parts of the United States, unlike currants.
Sultanas are usually brighter in color than raisins and currants. Unlike the two, sultanas are soaked in oil to foster the drying process, taking around three weeks.
Jujubes are known as Chinese dates or Red dates. They are rounded in shape and are usually dark-red or purple. Unlike currants, they contain seeds in them, so they are best used in their dried form.
The Chinese use jujubes for cooking. Jujubes are a safe alternative for currants, as toppings, or for baking.
4. Dried Cherries
Dried cherries are cherries that are subjected to a process of drying, usually for preservation purposes.
For baking and toppings, dried cherries serve as a currant substitute. However, this option is not favorable to everyone.
Cranberries are an alternative for currants. Due to their sharp taste, it is best to bake them.
However, people do not like to eat them raw because that strong taste also comes with a sour taste.
6. Dried Prunes
Prunes are dried plums. They have numerous health benefits. For example, they are a good energy source and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
This fruit also contains vitamins B, K, and fiber. They are an excellent substitute for currants.
7. Dried Dates
Over the years, people refer to dates as a superfood. Only monarchs and elites ate dates in the olden days.
Since they are not native to the United States, they are primarily in their dried form. These fruits are sold in grocery stores and are easily accessible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Currants, Raisins, And Sultanas?
These fruits are not interchangeable. And not just because of the different colors of their skin and their dried form.
Currants: are small, delicious fruits that you can enjoy in many ways. The dried currants, also known as Zante currants, have primarily become known as currants even though they are not.
They were banned in the US around 1911 on beliefs that they were spreading diseases. They are pretty tart and grow in bushes.
Raisins: are dried up grapes, usually for three weeks. Unlike currants, raisins soak up flavor and compliment different products.
And because of this, raisins are used mainly by alcohol brands like Brandy and Amaretto. Thompson Seedless variety is primarily responsible for making raisins in the US.
Sultanas: are usually coated with oil before they are dried. They are made from green seedless grapes and are often lighter in color than raisins and currants. They are also capable of absorbing all flavors, but not like raisins.
Are Black Currants Illegal In The US?
Around 1911, the US banned the commercialization of black raisins. The belief was that the fruit was responsible for spreading diseases and destroying vines in the US. Till today, in some areas of the country, the black currant remains banned.
However, in Newyork, Connecticut, Vermont, the ban has been lifted, as there are now modern ways to control the plant. They are, however, still rare in the United States.
Where Can I Buy Currants?
In cities like New york, Connecticut, and Vermont, Black currants are beginning to make a comeback.
Its availability is because they have lifted the ban of black currants in these cities. You could probably get them at the grocery store.
Are Currants Healthy?
Currants are notorious for boosting the immune system. They contain antioxidants as well as omega-6 fatty acids.
A fun fact about currants is that they have more vitamin c than oranges, and they also help the body fight viruses and infections.
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Whether fresh or dried, currants are usually scarce in the United States. There are; however, safe and delicious options to use in place of the grapefruits.
Some of the substitutes for currants listed above belong to the grape family, and others do not. Some of them are seedless like currants, and others are not. To fit your specifications and taste, you can choose from any of the currants’ substitutes listed above.