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What Is the Dried Currant Spice?

Dried currants have a slightly tart taste and resemble raisins in appearance. Dessert recipes that call for dried currants often include dense recipes like carrot cake and fruitcake. Currants can also take the place of raisins in recipes, for those times when you cannot find raisins or do not have any on hand. Dried currant spice is essentially dried currants that can be used in dishes and recipes.

Currant Identification

Dried currants have a similar texture to raisins, which are dried grapes. Their texture also resembles that of dried cranberries and has a similar flavor. Other dried fruits, including apples and bananas, develop a firm texture when their moisture is removed during the dehydration process. However, dried currants retain a small level of moisture, resulting in a wrinkled exterior and moist interior.

Uses

Do not confuse dried currants with the berry known as a currant. Dried currants are actually a type of grape, known as the Zante grape. Dried currants can be used in place of raisins in cakes, cupcakes and cookies, including oatmeal raisin cookies. You can also add a small handful of dried currants to overly salty gravy or sauces to lend a touch of sweetness to the dish. Use 1/4 cup in your favorite breakfast cereal or cooked oatmeal to make the dish more filling. Replace blueberries or other fruits in your favorite muffin recipe and even incorporate the dried currants into stuffing recipes. Gourmet Sleuth recommends replacing dates, cranberries or prunes with dried currants.

Nutritional Information

A standard 16-ounce package of dried currants is the equivalent of 3 cups. The recommended serving size is one cup, which has zero grams of fat, zero grams of cholesterol and 12 milligrams of sodium. Each serving also contains 1,284 milligrams of potassium, 107 grams of carbohydrates and 10 grams of fiber. A one-cup serving also contains 97 grams of sugar and six grams of protein.

Considerations

As dried currants have a naturally tart flavor, you may not like their seasoning when used in desserts. Cut the tartness by adding 1/4 cup granulated sugar to the mixture along with the currants. If the dessert still tastes too tart, then consider using half as many currants and replacing the other half with raisins. Introduce the dried currants to your family by preparing a familiar recipe, like blueberry muffins or cranberry bread, and replacing the dried fruits in the recipe with the currants. Consider using a small amount of currants in your first attempt and slowly increasing the amount until you grow accustomed to the flavor.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.