blackcurrants

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Sally Carewe

blackcurrants

Please can anyone help? No major super market sells blackcurrants any more. You cannot get them, frozen, or in tins, or in jars, or fresh if it is out of season (although you can get blueberries everywhere!).
Waitrose and Sainsbury's used to sell blackcurrants in jars from Poland (Krakus). Recently this brand disappeared and a British make was stocked for years. For over six months this has been withdrawn along with the others in the range (cherries and plums).
Now it is impossible to find them anywhere. We used them for muesli, desserts and coulis.
As blackcurrants have more Vitamin C than any other fruit, I cannot understand whey they are now unavailable despite being grown in the UK. Dear Delia please propose a recipe using them, and maybe they will come back?!

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sam from worthing

blackcurrants

was in sainsburys the other day, and next to the tinned peaches were tinned blackcurrants - can;t think how much they were but i would think just over the £1 mark. And i have you got a morrisons near you? they have a good range of frozen fruits - can;t be sure if black currants are among the range though - but they do have frozen cherries. My tesco which a fairly large one sells b/c fresh when in season at a very silly price per 100g. Also if you have a farmers market in your locality try them in july/august time, same goes for local green grocers....and farm shops/PYO are good places to find these little jewels, pick ample and then freeze in portions for your own convenience - we tried to grow our own, but our climate is far too dry - and our soil is horrid where i am, not at all suitable for currants growing - and it does take time before you get a good production going, i think it takes 2 years before your new plant fruits, and then its only a small cropping.

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Sally Carewe

blackcurrants

Sadly the Polish brand no longer features blackcurrants and our local pOlish deli has no recollection of them. I have a longer memory - but clearly something is going on worldwide re. blackcurrants!
At the large Sainsbury's in London N1 I could not find anyone who knew what a blackcurrant was! Glad to hear that tins exist - but actually jars or frozen is so much more convenient as they can be used gradually.

Thanks for the advice about fresh ones - I will wait of course - but interesting that blueberries can be purchased year round - but not blackcurrants. I wonder why?

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.

blackcurrants

Blueberries are less climate sensitive than blackcurrants hence are more widely grown.

The two largest producer nations, Russia and Poland produce 70% of that. Russia consumes all of its own and also imports blackcurrants. Poland is the world’s largest exporter.

Climate change is a major factor for Blackcurrant production. Global warming is an issue for the industry because Blackcurrants need good chilling at key times of the growing cycle.

This probably goes some way to explaining why they are hard to find out of season.

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Nausea Bagwash

Blackcurrants

"Blueberries are less climate sensitive than blackcurrants hence are more widely grown.

The two largest producer nations, Russia and Poland produce 70% of that. Russia consumes all of its own and also imports blackcurrants. Poland is the world’s largest exporter.

Climate change is a major factor for Blackcurrant production. Global warming is an issue for the industry because Blackcurrants need good chilling at key times of the growing cycle.

This probably goes some way to explaining why they are hard to find out of season.

"
.................
I don't know what commercial varieties are like but I can remember how temperamental my mother's were when she grew them in the garden.

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.

Fruits

Bolas, I agree that fruit trees often take a year off after a really heavy crop. Fair enough, we all need a rest!

I don't know about holly, but blackcurrants are one of those plants that need a cold winter to trigger flowering in spring. We've had a few warm winters globally over the past few years which has disrupted cropping, although I think progress is being made in developing a less sensitive variety.

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.

PS

I loved Bilberrying! Blueberries can't begin to compete with them in the flavour stakes.

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Nausea Bagwash

Holly

"
2 yrs ago before the vicious winter I noticed the Holly had a huge amount of berries.
ES do you think there is a correlation."
...............
BdF, my mother, a countrywoman, always used to say that holly predicts a severe winter in that way. Nature looks after its own.

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Sally Carewe

blackcurrants

Thanks for all the responses. However, the issue is that for the last 30 years I have been able to buy bottled blackcurrants in jars. Now they are not available. Blackcurrants are grown in England as well as Poland etc.. Growers here say there is no problem with the crops, just with the supermarkets who won't pay for them.
I can understand fluctuation in supply when they are fresh. But before there was never a problem with the bottled ones.

Why aren't they available frozen if no one wants to bottle them?

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.

blackcurrants

The black currant foundation website is a very good source of information.

Apparently 95% of the UK blackcurrant production is used in the manufacture of Ribena, which does seem a shame but I guess they are a reliable buyer.

The remaining 5% is available fresh (seasonally), frozen in mixed summer fruit selections, and in yoghurt, smoothies, juices and preserves.

Supermarkets are very responsive to buyer demand, so my guess is that there is insufficient demand for it to be profitable for them to stock imported bottled fruit. The best way to change this is to keep asking. If they are bombarded with requests to stock a particular item they may consider doing so. Likewise go to the growers and suggest they market frozen blackcurrants as a single item rather than in a fruit mix. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

 
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