The 5 Best Substitutes for Barberries

5/5 - (2 votes)

Barberries, which are small, sour berries that are related to the cranberry and have been used in cooking for a very long time,

They were a popular ingredient in medieval pies and puddles, and the ancient Romans used them to impart flavor to their wines.

In modern times, barberries can be found most frequently in the cuisine of the Middle East, where they are utilized in the preparation of stew, rice dishes, and pastries.

In addition, barberries are a common ingredient found in traditional Iranian cuisine.

There are a number of options that can serve as an acceptable substitute for barberries in the event that you are unable to locate them or do not have any on hand.

In this piece, we will go over the top five alternatives to barberries that are currently available.

What are Barberries?

Fruits known as barberries can be found in their natural habitat in Asia.

The plant itself is a shrub that can reach a height of up to six feet, and the fruits are rather diminutive, bright red, and sour.

Since ancient times, barberries have been a staple ingredient in Asian cooking; however, it is only recently that people in the West have started to appreciate their one-of-a-kind flavor.

Because of their natural sour flavor, barberries are an excellent addition to savory dishes, and they can be used in a wide variety of preparations, from stews to curries.

In addition, barberries are an excellent ingredient to incorporate into baked goods and sweets.

The sourness of the fruit is brought into harmony and a mouthwatering dish is produced as a result of its combination with something sweet.

Barberries are a fruit that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, making them a fruit that is adaptable enough to 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

Cranberries that have been dried retain their sourness, chewiness, and intense flavor.

They go exceptionally well in salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and baked goods, among other things.

Additionally, you can use them in place of dried barberries if you so choose.

Cranberries have a sour flavor, but as you chew them, you’ll notice that they also have a sweet undertone.

The consistency is chewy while also being slightly firm.

Cranberries are a good choice to make as an alternative to dried barberries if you are looking for a replacement ingredient.

They have a sour flavor that is comparable to one another and can be utilized in the same way.

You can incorporate them into your go-to recipe, or you can sprinkle them atop your morning bowl of oats.

Cranberries have a high fiber content and are an excellent source of antioxidants.

In addition to that, they are devoid of fat and contain few calories.

You can feel good about including dried cranberries in your diet, whether you eat them as a snack or use them as an ingredient in a recipe. Cranberries have been shown to support cardiovascular health.

2 – Sour Cherries

The flavor of sour cherries is more tangy and acidic than that of sweet cherries. Sour cherries are a variety of cherry.

These fruits are quite tiny, and they have a round shape and a deep red color.

The flesh of sour cherries is dense and juicy, and it has a grainy texture that runs through it.

As their name suggests, sour cherries are not typically consumed by themselves; rather, they are frequently used in pies and various other types of baked goods.

On the other hand, because of their one-of-a-kind flavor, they can also be an excellent addition to savory dishes.

When making a recipe that calls for barberries but uses sour cherries instead, it is essential to remember that the two fruits have very different textures.

Because of their suppler texture and higher degree of delicacy, barberries must be cooked for a shorter period of time than other berries.

Because they contain less sugar than sweet cherries, sour cherries may require a touch more sugar to be added to a dish in order to achieve a sense of harmony between the various flavors.

3 – Currants

Gooseberries are related to currants, which are tangy berries that are quite small.

They can have a red, black, or white skin, and because their skin is so thin, they are ideal for eating directly from the hand.

When currants are cooked, they turn a beautiful deep ruby color and take on a flavor that is both sweet and tart, similar to that of cherries.

You can make pies, jams, and preserves with currants, and you can also bake scones and muffins with them.

They are also a fantastic alternative to barberries in savory dishes because of their excellent flavor.

If you want to use currants as a substitute for barberries, all you need to do is thoroughly rinse them and remove any stems or leaves.

Then incorporate them into the dish in the same manner as you would barberries.

It is possible that the cooking time will need to be slightly extended so that the currants can become more pliable.

Currants are a delicious way to add a jolt of flavor to any dish, whether you use them raw or cook them first. You can use them either way.

4 – Apricots

Consider incorporating apricots into your diet if you are looking for a fruit that is both delicious and beneficial to your health.

These delicious little fruits have a lovely sweet-tart flavor that makes them ideal for snacking or adding to recipes, and they are packed to the brim with a variety of beneficial nutrients.

Apricots are another fruit that lend themselves well to a wide variety of culinary applications, as they can be either sweet or savory.

For instance, they are a wonderful component to include in yogurt or salads, and they can also be incorporated into sweet dishes or baked goods.

Apricots are a good choice to make in place of barberries when you need to make a substitution in a recipe.

They have a flavor that is comparable to sourness, but they are smoother and more sugary.

Additionally, apricots are an excellent source of the dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Therefore, the next time you go shopping, make sure to pick up some apricots so that you can take advantage of their delectable flavor as well as the numerous health benefits they offer.

5 – Goji Berries

Goji berries are an indigenous variety of fruit that can be found in China.

They play a significant role in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine, and their incorporation into Western cuisine is also on the rise.

You can eat fresh, dried, or cooked goji berries; their flavor is described as a combination of sweet and sour.

Additionally, they are sometimes utilized in the production of wine and juice.

Goji berries are an excellent source of a variety of vitamins and minerals, and in addition to that, they contain a high level of antioxidants.

In addition, studies have shown that eating goji berries can have a beneficial effect on one’s blood sugar levels.

People who are looking for an alternative to barberries may want to consider goji berries for the reasons stated above because they may be a good choice.


In conclusion, there are many alternatives that can be used in place of barberries, and the one you choose should depend on your needs.

Try apricots, currants, or goji berries if you’re looking for a fruit that has a flavor profile comparable to that of cherries.

Bear in mind that sour cherries have a distinctively different consistency from barberries in terms of their overall consistency when making your selection.

A tasty alternative to fresh cranberries, dried cranberries can be used in pies and other baked goods.

Also, if you’re looking for a healthy alternative, you might want to think about trying goji berries or dried apricots.

There is sure to be an alternative to barberries that is suitable for your purposes, regardless of what they are.


What can I replace barberries with?

Possible Alternatives to the Use of Barberries In most cases, dried barberries can be found in Middle Eastern grocery stores. However, if you are in a pinch, you can substitute them with another sour, dried fruit. You can substitute barberries with dried cranberries, apricots, sour cherries, goji berries, mulberries, or currants.

Are barberries the same as sumac?

They have teeny-tiny berries that resemble barberries quite a bit, but their shapes are a little bit more rounded than barberries’. According to Fares Kargar, chef and owner of Delbar in Atlanta, who spoke with TODAY Food, barberries have a shape that is “a little more like oval shaped.” Because of their extremely high acid content, he does not recommend eating sumac berries straight from the branch.

Can I use barberries instead of cranberries?

The taste of barberries is comparable to that of unsweetened dried cranberries, but because of their smaller size (which is comparable to that of currants), they distribute themselves more evenly in recipes. You may toss them in salads, veggies, braises, or granola as they are, but you should do so sparingly. To prepare them for use in rice dishes, grain dishes, or stuffing, first soak them in hot water to make them plumper.

Are barberries currants?

Barberries are a type of tiny, red, edible berry that resembles a miniature version of cranberries or a red currant. They are dried instead of fresh. The Berberis Vulgaris plant, from which the berries originate, is native to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia. It was only relatively recently brought to North America.

Are cranberries and barberries the same?

Barberries, in contrast to their cranberry counterparts, do not contain any seeds. When dried, barberries are considerably less large than cranberries, and if they are kept in good condition, their color can become very vibrant and red. The flavor of barberries is surprisingly sour, but despite this, they are delicious and highly addictive. They have a flavor that is described as “refreshingly acidic.”