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red or black currants

aka helen Nov 25, 2013 07:15 PM

Looking for red or black currants in San Francisco or the East Bay. Has anyone seen them around recently?

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  1. chefj RE: aka helen Nov 26, 2013 12:40 PM

    They are a Summer/Early Fall crop

    1. s
      sugartoof RE: aka helen Nov 29, 2013 05:26 PM

      Two places I usually see them are at the Ferry Building (of course), Berkeley Bowl, and Parkside Market.

      I did a lot of running around for the holiday, and didn't see currants anywhere. I also didn't see the normal selection of pears and other stuff that's usually easy to find this time of year.

      1. k
        kzukor RE: aka helen Dec 4, 2013 07:16 AM

        Ours ripen in June in Berkeley.

        1. m
          milklady RE: aka helen Dec 5, 2013 09:30 AM

          I think you can only get dried (or jellied) at this time of year. I remember being blown away the first time I saw them fresh at Berkeley Bowl one July - the only time I'd eaten them fresh was a summer I spent as a teenager in the Russian countryside, and it brought back amazing memories to have them at home.

          1. s
            sundeck sue RE: aka helen Dec 5, 2013 09:34 AM

            what are you hoping to use them for?

            (eg. I use them in Summer Pudding--but amend my recipe at this time of year to Winter Pudding, substituting cranberries and other seasonal fruit).

            6 Replies
            1. re: sundeck sue
              aka helen RE: sundeck sue Dec 7, 2013 09:30 AM

              Hi there. I'm a food stylist and often need things that are out of season. I have a woman at the wholesale produce market who can find me most anything if it is ripe and available. Believe it or not she could have gotten them for me next week.
              My chowhound community often spots things in places I would never guess to look. The shoot is over and we ended up not using them. Thank you for your reply.

              1. re: aka helen
                Robert Lauriston RE: aka helen Dec 7, 2013 10:14 AM

                Probably in season somewhere in the southern hemisphere.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  sugartoof RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2013 11:18 AM

                  I see out of season fruit in the Bay Area all the time. I've definitely seen currants in November...or just something that looked very similar.

                2. re: aka helen
                  Robert Lauriston RE: aka helen Dec 7, 2013 11:36 AM

                  Do you know where your source gets them? Red or black currents (Ribes rubrum or nigrum) this time of year would be tricky since they normally ripen around the summer solstice at the earliest (two weeks from now in New Zealand), but growers might use hothouses to push that.

                  Zante "currants" are around in the fall, but they're actually a kind of grape.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    aka helen RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2013 11:41 AM

                    They were needed for a still life photo of "bitter" foods, so I wasn't very particular. I don't know where she gets them. I assume Chile, but you never know. I saw California grown pomegranates at TJ's in July!

                    1. re: aka helen
                      Robert Lauriston RE: aka helen Dec 7, 2013 11:46 AM

                      Cold storage? I don't believe pomegranates are harvested here between January and August.

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