Currants are an old-fashioned, yet highly productive fruit that are gaining favour with gardeners because they not only make wonderful edible hedges, but also stunning background plants for permaculture plantings and borders.
The fruit is tart and refreshing, rather than sweet and succulent, and are best suited to wonderful piquant sauces and jellies. A few scattered into a fruit salad or trifle also adds a sophisticated contrast to other sweet flavours. Red and white currants are really the same plant with different coloured fruit, whereas black currant is a completely different species. The pearly white currants are generally sweeter, but lack the levels of antioxidants found in red currants. Black currants (Ribes nigrum) must be cooked with copious amounts of sugar to make them palatable, even though they are packed with vitamin C, potassium and other antioxidants.