Dried currants, also known as Zante currants or Corinth raisins, are small, seedless grapes that have been sun-dried to preserve their natural sweetness and flavor. These tiny, dark purple fruit are native to the Mediterranean region, particularly Greece, and have been used in culinary applications since ancient times. Offering a unique combination of tart and sweet flavors, dried currants are a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes and baked goods.
In the home kitchen, dried currants can be used to elevate dishes, both sweet and savory. They are a favorite addition to scones, cookies, and fruitcakes, or can be mixed into oatmeal, yogurt, and salads for an extra punch of flavor and texture. Their high nutritional value, rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential minerals, also makes them a healthy and versatile pantry staple.
Dried currants, often mistaken for dried currants or blackcurrants, are in fact a type of grape - specifically, a Tiny Black Corinth grape. They are extremely sweet and have a slight floral aroma, making them a perfect addition to both sweet and savory dishes. When cooking with dried currants, many people are unsure where to use them, they are not just limited to baking, they also work quite well in savory dishes. It's easy to oversweeten a dish with them, so it's important to use them in balance with other flavors. One little known trick is plumping or rehydrating your currants before using them in cooking or baking. Simply soak them in a warm liquid (like water, rum, or apple juice) for about 15 minutes and they will be plump and juicy, thereby enhancing their flavor and texture in your dishes.
Can I use dried currants instead of fresh?
Can dried currants be eaten raw?
Can I use raisins instead of dried currants in my recipe?
How do I plump up dried currants?
What's the difference between a dried currant and a raisin?
What dishes can I add dried currants to?
Are dried currants good for you?
Can I use sorrel instead of dried currants?
What's the best way to use dried currants in baking?
How do I remove the sweetness of dried currants?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does dried currant expire?
Unopened dried currants can last for up to a year if stored in a cool, dark and dry place. If the package has been opened, they should be consumed within 6 months for best quality. The printed date on the package is a guideline but dried currants can still be good past this date. They can also be frozen and maintain quality for up to two years.
How do you tell if dried currant is bad?
Dried currants that are going bad will have a stale smell and may change in color. If you see any mold, discoloration, or any signs of insect infestation, it's best to discard them immediately. If they develop a strange smell or feel hard instead of soft and chewy, that's another sign that they have gone bad.
Tips for storing dried currant to extend shelf life
• Store in a cool, dark and dry place to maintain optimum freshness.
• Once the packet is opened, keep them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
• If you live in a humid climate, consider storing them in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
• To freeze dried currants, pack them in freezer bags, squeeze out all the excess air and seal tightly. Remember to leave some headspace for the currants to expand.
• To defrost, simply take out the required quantity and let them thaw at room temperature.