Mackerel currants

Groseille à maquereau is the French word for gooseberry, a word that came up last night at the French conversation group, and which none of us knew the French equivalent for.

Groseille means currant, light red or cherry red, and maquereau means mackerel. So groseille à maquereau could be translated as “mackerel currant”. Another French word for gooseberry is groseille verte or green currant.

Groseille also means redcurrant (ribes rubrum). So what’s the link between redcurrants and gooseberries? Well, the redcurrant is acutally part of the gooseberry family grossulariaceae.

A related fruit is the blackcurrant (ribes nigrum) or cassis / groseillier noir, which is part of the gooseberry family as well.

[Addendum] Appartently one possible reason why gooseberries are associated with mackerel in French is because mackerel and gooseberry sauce go well together. Here’s a receipe for mackerel with gooseberry sauce.

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