Also known as Rubus idaeus, the raspberry belongs to the same botanical family as the rose and the blackberry. But the fun facts don't stop there - it turns out there's far more to the brilliant berry than first meets the eye.
- They're actually really good for you
- Raspberries contain more vitamin C than oranges, are super high in fiber, low in calories and supply you with a good dose of folic acid.
- Further to that, they are high in potassium, vitamin A and calcium. Who would have thought that you could find so much goodness in one humble berry?
- Scotland is an unlikely raspberry haven- It's famous for its raspberry growing. In the late 1950s, raspberries were brought down from Scotland to London on a steam train known as the Raspberry Special.
- Raspberries are ancient- They are thought to been eaten since prehistoric times, but only began to be cultivated in England and France in about the 1600s.
- There are over 200 species of raspberries
- They come in all sorts of colors- Not all at once, but raspberries can be red, purple, gold or black in color. The Gold Ones are the sweetest variety, and very tasty.
- They don't continue to ripen when picked- Unlike many fruits, unripe raspberries do not ripen after they have been picked. There's no softening up in the fruit bowl for the raspberry - once it's picked, that's your lot.
Handling & Storage
Of all the small fruits, raspberries have the shortest shelf life. One can watch the mold grow on raspberries held on the counter at room temperature. Raspberries become very soft in a matter of hours if not held at cold temperatures.
Once you bring your fresh berries home, the key to keeping it fresh is to kill any spores on the fruit. The pH of vinegar does that job.Place the berries in a large bowl and wash them in a vinegar-water bath: 1 cup of white vinegar and 8 cups of water. Let the berries sit in the vinegar-water bath, gently moving them to help dislodge any dirt, grime and letting the vinegar kill spores and bacteria. Drain the berries in a colander and then thoroughly rinse the fruit (to remove any vinegar flavor).
Thicker skinned fruit (like strawberries or blueberries) can be dried in a salad spinner but delicate berries such as raspberries and blackberries should be dried on a towel, patting them with paper or cloth towels. Store the washed and dried fruit in a sealed container that has been lined with paper towels — if using an air-tight container, leave the lid slightly open to avoid natural moisture build-up. When I handle fruit I have purchased from my grocery store, I wash the original container and then re-use it, making sure to line it with paper towels.
When Measuring Raspberries:
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