to the ancient Greek myth, all raspberries were once white in color. That was,
until the day the God Jupiter was in such a rage that the Nymph Ida, to appease
him, went and picked him some wild raspberries. It seems that while she was
picking the berries she pricked her finger on the thorns of a raspberry bush. Legend has it that her blood, from that point on, stained all raspberries a
bright red color.
said to have been around since prehistoric times but were not cultivated until
the 17th century. Botanist John Parkinson first wrote about cultivated red,
white and thornless varieties of raspberries in 1629 in 'Paradisi in sole
paradisus terrestris'. They grow wild in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere,
from the polar regions down through temperate climates of North America, Asia
and Europe. There are different varieties of raspberries ranging in color from
black, purple, red, pink, and amber to white. The most common are red (about
90%) followed by amber and black varieties. Harvest time, depending on variety,
is spring to late fall. Raspberries are also harvested in Chile and New Zealand
and are found in stores during the winter months.
called the 'King' of all the berries. Compared to the strawberry they are
stronger in flavor, bolder in color and much more difficult to pick due to its
prickly thorns. The strawberry's scent and flavor are mild and sweet whereas
Waverley Root in his book "Food" aptly describes the raspberry's scent as being
the "most perfumed among its sort of fruits" and its favor as being "rich,
exotic, spice-laden and with a hint of musk".
to the rose family. Although called a berry, technically it is a cluster of
small individual drupelets that are held together by very fine threads (hairs).
Each drupelet is an individual fruit with its own seed. The oval or conical
shaped raspberry encloses a white or yellow central core (receptacle) that comes
away from the raspberry when picked and remains on the plant. This leaves the
raspberry with a hollow core.
raspberries look for fragrant, deeply colored, plump and juicy berries without
the cores attached. If the core is still attached the raspberry was picked too
early and the berry will be sour. Avoid berries that are soft and mushy or have
any bruises, black spots or mold. Always check the underside of the container
to make sure there are no squashed berries or red stains.
Raspberries are a
very delicate fruit and have a sweet, slightly acidic flavor when first picked. They soften quickly so they are best used immediately but can be stored
overnight on a single paper towel lined tray. Do not soak in water as their
hollow core will fill with water and they will be less flavorful.
used extensively in desserts. What restaurant does not serve a raspberry sauce
Also used in jams and preserves, ice creams, souffl? and flans, vinegar,
liqueurs and brandy.
Apple Crisp with Raspberries
Financiers with Raspberries
Frozen Fruit Pops
Raspberry Swirl Ice
Raspberry & White Chocolate Shortbread
White Chocolate & Raspberry Brittle