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Nov 25, 2013 07:15 PM

red or black currants

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

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  1. They are a Summer/Early Fall crop

    1. 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. Ours ripen in June in Berkeley.

        1. 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. 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

              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

                Probably in season somewhere in the southern hemisphere.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  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

                  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

                    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

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