There are two fruits referred to as currants: 1) the dried zante grape (like a raisin) and 2) the fresh berry in the gooseberry family. The latter may be red, white, or black. 


Currants have been cultivated in Europe since the 17th century. Then the fruit was used for medicinal purposes. Today, currant is still used to treat coughs and Alzheimer’s; dried blackcurrant leaf is used for maladies including arthritis, gout, joint pain.


While their flavors differ slightly, all three varieties are used similarly in jams and jellies, syrups and liqueurs. Blackcurrant fruit has a more tart flavor than red and white currant; therefore, blackcurrant is less-often eaten fresh. Blackcurrant is more often made into jam as they set readily because of the fruit’s high acid content.