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The Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum), also known as black currant or cassis, is a deciduous shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its edible berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia, where it prefers damp fertile soils. It is widely cultivated both commercially and domestically. It is winter hardy, but cold weather at flowering time during the spring may reduce the size of the crop. Bunches of small, glossy black fruit develop along the stems in the summer and can be harvested by hand or by machine. The raw fruit is particularly rich in Vitamin C and Polyphenols. Blackcurrants can be eaten raw, but are usually cooked in sweet or savoury dishes. They are used to make jams, preserves, and syrups and are grown commercially for the juice market. The fruit is also used to make alcoholic beverages and dyes.