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The 5 Best Substitutes for Barberries

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Barberries, small tart berries that are related to the cranberry, have a long culinary history.

The ancient Romans used them to add flavor to their wines, and they were a popular ingredient in medieval pies and puddles.

Today, barberries are most commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine, where they are used to make stew, rice dishes, and pastries.

Barberries are also a popular ingredient in Iranian cuisine.

If you can’t find barberries or don’t have them on hand, there are several substitutes that will work just as well.

In this article, we will discuss the 5 best substitutes for barberries.

What are Barberries?

Barberries are a type of fruit that is native to Asia.

The plant is a shrub that can grow up to six feet tall, and the fruits are small, red, and tart.

Barberries have been used in Asian cuisine for centuries, and they are now becoming more popular in the West as people discover their unique flavor.

The tartness of barberries makes them a perfect ingredient for savory dishes, and they can be used in everything from curries to stews.

Additionally, barberries make a great addition to baked goods and desserts.

When paired with sweetness, the tartness of the fruit is balanced out and creates a delicious dish.

Whether you use them in savory or sweet dishes, barberries are a versatile fruit that can add interest to any meal.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Barberries

If you can’t find barberries, here are 5 substitutes that work just as well in recipes.

1 – Dried Cranberries

Dried cranberries are tart, chewy, and intensely flavored.

They’re a great addition to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and baked goods.

You can also use them as a substitution for dried barberries.

The cranberries have a tangy taste with a sweetness that comes through as you chew.

The texture is chewy and slightly firm.

If you’re looking for a substitution for dried barberries, then cranberries are a good option.

They have a similar tartness and can be used in the same way.

Add them to your favorite recipe, or use them as a topping on your morning oats.

Cranberries are an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants.

They’re also low in calories and fat-free.

So, whether you’re eating them as a snack or using them as a recipe ingredient, you can feel good about incorporating dried cranberries into your diet.

2 – Sour Cherries

Sour cherries are a variety of cherry that is distinguished by their tart, acidic flavor.

These fruits are small and round, with a deep red color.

The flesh of sour cherry is firm and juicy, with a slightly grainy texture.

Sour cherries are often used in pies and other baked goods; as their name implies, they are not typically eaten out of hand.

However, their unique flavor can also make them a good addition to savory dishes.

When substituting sour cherries for barberries, it is important to keep in mind that the two fruits have different textures.

Barberries are softer and more delicate, so they will need to be cooked for a shorter period of time.

In addition, because sour cherries are lower in sugar, you may need to add a bit of sweetness to your dish to balance out the flavors.

3 – Currants

Currants are small, tart berries that are related to gooseberries.

They can be red, black, or white, and their thin skin makes them perfect for eating out of hand.

When cooked, currants take on a lovely deep ruby color and a sweet-tart flavor that is reminiscent of cherries.

Currants can be used in pies, jams, and preserves or baked into scones and muffins.

They are also an excellent substitute for barberries in savory dishes.

To use currants as a barberry substitute, simply rinse them well and remove any stems or leaves.

Then add them to your recipe as you would barberries.

You may need to increase the cooking time slightly to allow the currants to soften.

Whether you’re using them fresh or cooked, currants are a delicious way to add a pop of flavor to any dish.

4 – Apricots

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy fruit to add to your diet, consider apricots.

These little fruits are packed with nutritional goodness, and they have a lovely sweet-tart flavor that is perfect for snacking or adding to recipes.

Apricots are also very versatile, and they can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

For example, they make a great addition to salads or yogurt, and they can also be used in desserts or baked goods.

If you’re looking for a substitution for barberries, apricots are a good option.

They have a similar tart flavor, but they are softer and sweeter.

Apricots are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

So next time you’re at the store, pick up some apricots and enjoy their delicious flavor and nutritional benefits.

5 – Goji Berries

Goji berries are a type of fruit that is native to China.

They are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, and they are also gaining popularity as a food ingredient.

Goji berries have a sweet and sour taste, and they can be eaten fresh, dried, or cooked.

They are also sometimes used to make juice or wine.

Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and they are also high in antioxidants.

Additionally, goji berries have been shown to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels.

For these reasons, goji berries may be a good choice for people who are looking for an alternative to barberries.


In conclusion, there are many substitutes for barberries, depending on what you are looking for.

If you want a fruit with a similar tart flavor, try apricots, currants, or goji berries.

Sour cherries are also a good option, but keep in mind that they have a different texture than barberries.

Dried cranberries make a good substitution for pies and other baked goods.

And if you’re looking for a healthy alternative, consider apricots or goji berries.

Whatever your needs, there is sure to be a barberry substitute that will work for you.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Barberries

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Dried Cranberries

  • Sour Cherries

  • Currants

  • Apricots

  • Goji Berries


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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