Currants - Ribes spp.

Ethnobotanical Uses


Wax Current - Ribes cereum

(USDA Forest Service)

Golden Current - Ribes aureum


"Berries and young leaves are edible. Berries can be eaten raw or cooked.

Recipe 1: Hearty Wild Currant Pancakes

Place your favorite organic multigrain pancake mix in a bowl. (The type that only needs water is best if you are out camping.) Add a pinch of fresh-ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground cinnamon. Add water as directed. Stir gently.

Heat skillet to medium-high. Add generous amounts of butter, coconut oil, or bacon grease and heat. Spoon pancake batter onto skillet, and immediately add 1 teaspoon currants to each pancake. Flip when air bubbles begin to pop. Serve with real maple syrup or unbleached fair trade sugar.

Variation: Add chopped almonds and flax seeds.

Recipe 2: Lemon Pudding with Fresh Wild Currants

Begin to heat water in double boiler. Also heat 2 cups of water in a separate pot to a boil. While water is heating, sift together 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar. Whisk in the 2 cups boiling water until mixture becomes smooth. When water in bottom level of double boiler is simmering, add the flour-water mixture to the top dry pot; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks. Stir several tablespoons of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks (to temper), then slowly add the beaten egg yolks to the hot mixture; continue simmering in the double boiler. Stir in grated rind of 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes smooth and thick.

Spoon into bowls, and top with fresh currants. Serve at any temperature.

Variation: Add a dollop of meringue or whipped cream."(Morgan 201)

"Alone, or mixed with other fruit jams, pies, fruit salad, pancakes, fruit leather, ash cakes, syrup, crepes, or with just cream and sugar. Can be dehydrated." (Seebeck 107)

"The fresh flowers are good in wildflower salads, fruit salads, as a garnish, or cooked. The fruits of (red currants) don't taste like other currants, but work well in pies, pastries, puddings, and jams (alone or mixed with other fruits. May be dehydrated." (Seebeck 73)


"Hopi Gastrointestinal Aid Used for stomach pains. Okanagan-Coville Eye Medicine Infusion of inner bark used to wash sore eyes. Shoshoni Emetic Fruit used as an emetic. Thompson Antidiarrheal Berries eaten for diarrhea." (Moerman 476)

Other Uses:

"Along with sumac, mountain-mahogany, and oak, the stout branches from currant bushes were one of the favored hardwoods for manufacturing both bows and arrows." (Dunmire and Tierney 133)

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