The Corinthian currant was distinguished by high quality, a characteristic that made the product very valuable abroad.
Patras, Aigio, Corinth, Kiato, Katakolo, Zakynthos, Lixouri and Kalamata were some of the ports that used to be fiiled up with the Corinthian currant.
The first ships with the new harvest and the best quality of the Corinthian currant, the Primarolia, used to depart with celebrations, headed to the ports and markets of Europe. Liverpool, London, Trieste, Marseille, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Odessa welcomed the so-called “treasure of Greece”, creating a network of sea routes of the Corinthian currant.
When the ships returned they brought “wealth and culture”, financing to a large extend the newly formed post-revolutionary Greek state, its infrastructure, its cities and ports, the prosperity and future of its inhabitants.
Today, in addition to the commercial voyages, the Corinthian currant invites us to explore new routes in research, innovation and exploration of the real “treasure” that hides inside its wrinkled body; the identity design of the region connected to the legend of the Corinthian currant. Aegialia.
Let us follow the network of the Corinthian currant, from the Peloponnese to Europe and the world, from antiquity until today and tomorrow.
Our journey with the modern Primarolia of culture begins!

The product

The Corinthian (black) currant is a fine timeless product of Greece. Known since antiquity, where it was also used as a medicine, it has been transported in Europe for centuries, creating  very dynamic routes during the last two centuries, resulting in wealth or bankruptcy, in civilization with the adaptation of different cultures and sometimes leading to war.

This exquisite product is produced in its best quality in the Northern and Western Peloponnese, Corinth, Achaia, Ilia, Messinia and the Ionian islands of Zakynthos, Kefallonia and formerly in Ithaca.

The Corinthian currant PDO Vostizza of Aegialia is the best version of the Corinthian currant, due to the properties of the cultivated soil, the quality of the vines and the production method that give the final product a special flavor, aroma, very thin skin, high sugar content, its special color, thus having the highest price on the market. Corinthian currants produced in Zakynthos (Currant of Zakynthos PDO) and Ilia (Currant of Ilia PGI) are also featured as delicacies.

Because of its high nutriotinal value, the Corinthian currant is classified, according to recent studies, in the super foods category.

The history of the Corinthian Currant

Corinthian currant

Coranto, Goranto, Corauntz, Coranta, Corynto, Corinto, Corintho, Corinthus

currant (n.) 1500, “very small kind of seedless blackish raisin or dried grape, used in cookery and confections,” a shortening of raysyn of Curans (late 14c.) “raisins of Corinth,” with the -s- mistaken for a plural inflection. From Anglo-French reisin de Corauntz. The raisins were exported from southern Greece.

The Corinthian (black) currant, despite being an exceptional agricultural product with great nutritional value, known since the antiquity, is also the most commercial product of Greece. Through its exports it brought wealth and culture mainly in the last centuries but it also contributed to Greece’s bankruptcy of 1893.

In 2018 the cultivation of the Corinthian currant was registered in the national list of the intangible cultural heritage. This is the official proof that the cultivation of the currant is shaping the life and culture of the greek communities in the last centuries. The cultivation of Corinthian currants is passed down from generation to generation and is an important element of local sustainable development.

Corinthian currant in culture

Currant sorting machine

A tool that still resonates in today’s rural areas and vineyards. The sorting of the Corinthian currant from the machine was the final step before the product becomes ready for packaging and export with the Primarolia ships.

This manually handled machine is an agricultural tool but also a mean for the production of wealth and culture.

«Attention to the quality»

The audiovisual installation entitled “Attention to the quality” was presented in the context of the events “Oinoxeneia 2018 – Machines of culture”.

// Concept //

Through 3 soundscapes, specifically designed for the installation, digitally processed photographs, objects and a currant sorting machine – the project uses the machine as a conceptual starting point, as a sensory machine of taste and culture, as a matrix of creation, osmosis and sound, as a starting point for tensions and networks of the Corinthian currant of Vostizza, as part of the personal and collective memory.

// Extended concept //

The installation was a site-specific audiovisual intervention in the old currant warehouses in the port of Aigio and specifically in the Tsitsa (former Petropoulou) currant warehouse. The warehouses and the coastal zone of Aigio were places of great importance during the 19th century, with the famous Corithian currants of Aigialeia (Vostizza) beginning its journey headed to major international ports. The export season of the Corinthian currant called Primarolia was an annual festivity for Achaia (Aigialeia, Patras). In the crisis of 1893, the currant issue was perhaps the most important factor in the bankruptcy of the Greege under Charilaos Trikoupis, with the well-known phrase “…unfortunately we went bankrupt”.

«Attention to the quality»

// Credits //
Concept – creation | Bill Psarras
Description | Audiovisual installation of mixed media
Variable dimensions
Year: 2018
Presented on August 19-21 2019 in Aigio, Greece.