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Other Names

Ribes nigrum

French: cassis
Danish, Swedish, Italian: Ribes
Flemish: Bes
German: Johannisber or Johannisbeere, meaning "St.John berry".


Origin: Northern Europe

Etymology: “Currant” is a corruption of “raisin of Corinth,” and became a name applied to numerous fruits.

Unknown to the Greeks and Romans, the fruit took its Latin name "ribes" from the ancient Indo-European language. This etymological root corresponds to its geographic region, because the black currant bush exists wild from Siberia to Tibet. When the Moors invaded Spain in the 8th century, they discovered the fruit to which they gave the Arabic name "ribas," meaning "sour." It was not until 1550 that the English changed their name for it to "currant," noting the strong resemblance to the little dried grape so common in Greece. 



Photo: ID 50999569 / Katerina Kovaleva / MSCOMM

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