Berry good The closest most of us in Hong Kong will come to tasting blackcurrants is by drinking Ribena or crème de cassis. Blackcurrants are small and look similar to blueberries, although they are much darker and more glossy, and don't have the blueberry's soft white coating.

It's difficult to find blackcurrants even in countries where the fruit is grown (such as England and France) because they are susceptible to many diseases that can decimate the crop and spread to other plants. Blackcurrant supplements, made from the fruit, leaves and seeds, are said to alleviate a range of illnesses and disorders, such as joint ailments and heart disease.

You can occasionally find blackcurrants in the frozen section of upmarket shops. They have a high pectin content and are delicious as jam. Weigh the thawed fruit and mix it with three-quarters the amount of sugar (or more, if you like sweeter jam). Refrigerate the mixture overnight, stirring occasionally. Put the ingredients into a large, wide saucepan and simmer until the jam reaches its setting point. Stir in some fresh lemon juice, then put the jam into sterilised canning jars and seal with sterilised lids. Simmer the sealed jars in a water bath for 15 minutes, then allow to cool.