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Raspberry is a small, fragrant and sweet fruit that is known for its rich, intense texture that delicately spreads over the tongue. Though the fruit is called as a berry, it is not a berry in the truest botanical sense. The Raspberry is an aggregate fruit which consists of smaller seed bearing fruits, also known as druplets. It is fruit that can be cultivated throughout the year and it falls under the eatable variety of the plant genus Rubus. The most common variety of Raspberries are usually in a deep red-pink color although they are available in colors like black, yellow, orange,white, purples and even sometimes in white. Jams, smoothies, cakes, ice creams and salads are a few of many a Raspberry recipe.

The History of the Raspberry

The Raspberry is an ancient fruit. Historians speculate that the Raspberries would have originated in eastern Asia and it would have migrated to the west. Travelers crossing from the east to the west could have carried the Raspberry seeds with them. The first documented Raspberry cultivation was in 1548 in England, as a medicinal plant. In the 19th century, Raspberries were cultivated as a commercial crop. today, more than 911 million pounds of Raspberries are produced in 37 countries world wide and the USA, Canada, Mexico and Chile remain the top producers of the crop.

Methods of Preparing of a Raspberry Recipe

It has been recommended to make Raspberry recipe a home, due to its natural goodness. Raspberry is one of the most preferred ingredients while preparing desserts. As part of the dessert, a typical Raspberry recipe could involve chilling, freezing, baking, steaming, boiling and pureeing .It can also be used in combination with meat, other fruits and vegetables to make either starters or even the main course of the meal. In many family traditions, a Raspberry recipe would be handed down from mother to daughter.

Nutritive and Medicinal Values of Raspberries

Raspberry has low calorific value and they can be consumed by everyone. It has high Vitamin C content which is needed in the prevention of Common Cold and Scurvy. It is also high on iron and folate, both of which are needed to maintain the hemoglobin content in the blood. Ellagic acid, a natural cancer preventing compound is present in the Raspberry. Tests have shown that Raspberries help in the reduction of blood cholesterol and in the slowing down the release of carbohydrates into the blood.

Cuisines Commonly Making Raspberry Dishes

Many a Raspberry recipe are found among the Continental, American and Mexican cuisines.

Selection, Buying and Storage of Raspberries

The ripest Raspberry will be dark pinkish red unless it is of the yellow or white variety. The ripe fruit will easily come off in your hand while plucking. The raspberries will not ripen once plucked, so care must be taken while plucking. Raspberries are costlier when they are bought at grocery stores. Fresh produce are sold at farms for reasonable rates.

Raspberries are highly light and temperature sensitive. The fresh Raspberry will remain without perishing in the refrigerator for upto 1 to 2 days at a temperature of 34F to 38F. It is best to consume the Raspberries as soon as possible. Wash them, just before consumption as moisture makes them to wither sooner.

Types of Raspberries

The Raspberry crops are of two types; June crop and the Ever-bearing crop (perennial). However, there are several varieties. Pruning and maintenance of these two crops are very different and care must be taken.

Examples of Summer Raspberry varieties include Boyne, Candy, Chilacotin, Lantham, Meeker, Newburgh and Tulameen. Examples of Ever-bearing Raspberry varieties inculde Autumn Bliss, Amity, Caroline, Dinkum, Heritage, Summit

Raspberry Trivia

• The seeds of Raspberries are speculated to have been carried by travelers or animals that came across the Bering Strait during the ancient times. Bering Strait is said to have been an hypothetical land bridge that joined Russia and Alaska.

• 123grams of Raspberries contain just 60 calories and they are one of the healthiest fruits in the World.

• As per the North American Association of Raspberry and Blackberry, the breakdown of how raspberries and blackberries processing are as below.

Preserves, Jam, Jelly – 40%
Bakery products – 25%
Individually quick frozen berries – 18%
Juices, Extracts – 7%
Ice Cream, Yogurt – 5%
Canned berries - 5%

• In the movie Julie and Julia, we see Julie played by Amy Adams, making Raspberry Bavarian Cream Custard. After the movie's release, this was one Raspberry recipe that was much searched on the Internet.