Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Sunday pancakes with crushed berries

Black currant "Vertti" & yellow raspberry "Helkal" / Harilik vaarikas "Helkal" ja must sõstar "Vertti" (roheline vorm) / Rubus idaeus 'Helkal'

If you're thinking that those are tiny green gooseberries and our famous cloudberries, you're wrong. The green berries are actually blackcurrants* (Ribes nigrum) - yes, you read it correctly - and perfectly ripe ones at that. The green blackcurrant variety is called "VERTTI", and it was released by MTT Agrifood Research Finland in 1986. The berries have the typical pleasant blackcurrant flavour, but are sweeter, a bit milder and less sour - perfect for eating straight off the bush! (On the upside - the birds don't seem to want them, as they're having hard time spotting them in the first place. More berries for us!).

The yellow berries are simply golden raspberries or yellow raspberries, an albino variety of your regular red raspberry (Rubus idaeus). It's a local variety called "HELKAL", developed at the Polli Horticultural Research Centre in Southern Estonia during the last century and officially registered in 2004.

Once you've filled your stomach with the fresh berries au naturel, you can get a wee bit more adventurous and mash some of the berries with some sugar:

 Blackcurrant "Vertti" & yellow raspberries

And enjoy with your Sunday morning pancakes. Isn't it just a glorious and unusual colour? Blackcurrant "Vertti" & yellow raspberries

Enjoy! Bon appetit! Head isu! :)

* I came across this interesting bit of information about blackcurrants in the US. Fascinating!

Blackcurrants were once popular in the United States as well, but became rare in the 20th century after currant farming was banned in the early 1900s, when blackcurrants, as a vector of white pine blister rust (männi-koorepõletik, mida põhjustab roosteseen, mille vaheperemeheks on sõstrapõõsas), were considered a threat to the U.S. logging industry. The federal ban on growing currants was shifted to jurisdiction of individual states in 1966, and was lifted in New York State in 2003 through the efforts of horticulturist Greg Quinn. As a result, currant growing is making a comeback in New York, Vermont, Connecticut and Oregon.  However, several statewide bans still exist including Maine and New Hampshire. 
Since the American federal ban curtailed currant production nationally for nearly a century, the fruit remains largely unknown in the United States, and has yet to regain its previous popularity to levels enjoyed in Europe or New Zealand. Owing to its unique flavour and richness in polyphenols, dietary fibre and essential nutrients, awareness and popularity of blackcurrant is once again growing, with a number of consumer products entering the market. 

Source: Wikipedia


patsifist said...

Noja mina mõtsin, et mille kirevase pärast siin isegi mustsõstraMOOSI poes saada pole, mahlast või marjast endast mai unistagi...:S Farmer's Marketil küsisin kah vaarikaid müüvate inimeste kääst, et kas sõstart kah äkki oleks, kõik laiutasid vaid käsi. Tähh info eest!

Unknown said...

As an American reader, I found your historical note about currants very interesting. I never knew that the US government had banned currant farming for so long!

My father planted red and black currants in our garden when I was young, sparking a life-long love of them. It's frustrating that the fruit is so hard to find over here (and prohibitively expensive when it does show up!) but someday I will have a garden and plant my own. I'm making a note of the green blackcurrants, because they sound delicious!

ChichaJo said...

Berry envy!!!