[Sca-cooks] elderflowers & Currants

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 4 09:47:19 PDT 2008

While actual currants/Ribes show up in some recipes, i think 
Adamantius is right in saying
>  The extreme likelihood is that most of the currant references in medieval
>  recipes are to Raisins of Corinth, a.k.a. Zante currants, which are really a
>  small, dried grape.

While Ribes/currants do show up in some SCA-period recipes. But 
that's in a much smaller number of recipes than currants = raisins 
made of grapes of Corinth, which are exceedingly common.

Don't get me wrong, i'm a fan of real currants.

In 1967 when i moved to Manhattan to go to Barnard College, i 
discovered Haagen-Dazs ice cream, back when they only made about 5 or 
6 flavors (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and rum-raisin ice creams, and 
boysenberry sherbet) and were strictly local (i bought it at 
Gristides, when their shops were fairly small). I also discovered 
currant juice, imported from Germany. And i used to make a beverage 
involving a scoop of Haagen-Dazs boysenberry sherbet, currant juice, 
and fizzy water - that's when all i could cook was tuna salad and 

Now, for the SCA i make syrups of currant juice, usually black 
currant, but sometimes red, to take to events, along with other 
syrups made of lemon, pomegranate, and cherry juices (individual 
flavors), and sometimes peach.

But in most recipes in the English, French, Spanish, Italian, and 
Middle Eastern corpus (corpi?), the currants being called for are 
those little dried raisins of Corinth. So i concur with Adamantius 
when he said:
>  I won't try to rule out the use of red or black berry-type currants, but
>  it does seem like they're vastly outnumbered by Raisins of Corinth.

Since "real" currants are only useful in season, and to the best of 
my knowledge cannot be dried for later use, the recipes using them 
would be limited to when they would be fresh. I'm not questioning the 
German sources that Vitha posted, and i'm glad to know about them, 
since the Berkeley Bowl sells fresh currants/Ribes when in season 
(but i haven't really memorized when that is - and when it is in 
California may not quite be when it is in North Western Europe).

Also, back to elderflowers, i got some elderflower syrup from IKEA 
for the purpose of making that elderflower "cheesecake", since i have 
no idea where to get elderflowers. Haven't done it yet, but at least 
i can when i get a round to it...
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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