In case you thought the raspberry was only red, you’ll be surprised to know that they are black, purple, golden, and yellow. Indeed, the raspberry isn’t just red anymore.
Raspberries are a member of the rose family. It is considered a bramble fruit like the blackberry and has a hollow core. Red raspberries are native to Europe and have been cultivated for over 400 years whereas wild red raspberries are native to North America. They are known as “aggregate fruits” arranged around a hollow central cavity with drupelets that are the small red fruits containing a seed.
Black raspberries are occasionally grown in the United States. These “raspberries” may actually be dark enough to be indistinguishable from blackberries in terms of color, and sometimes called thimbleberry, scotch cap, or black cap. Both red and black varieties grow naturally in Vermont.
Purple raspberries have been produced by horticultural hybridization combining red and black raspberries and also grow in the wild in the state of Vermont. There are actually over 200 species of raspberries, all belonging to the scientific genus called Rubus but most types grown commercially are in one of these three basic groupings.Yellow raspberries are actually special forms of red or black raspberries.
Among U.S. consumers, raspberries are the third most popular berry, right after strawberries and blueberries. Raspberries in the US are generally available from mid-summer through early fall. There is historical evidence that shows raspberries were one of the earliest berry crops cultivated and through traders spread throughout the world.
Raspberries are very healthy for you and are rich in Vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, B Vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper, and iron. There is continued research that indicates further health benefits in the area of weight loss, obesity related problems, and even for diabetics. Raspberries are a low gylcemic index food, as are other berries.
Traditionally raspberries were a mid-summer crop, but with new technology they can now be obtained year-round, enjoyed fresh, dried, or frozen. They are a sweet snack and popular in salads, yogurt, juices, sauces, and in cakes and cookies.
Look for them in your local grocery store and enjoy!