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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Ted gives a Bronx cheer


… aka blows a raspberry, no not really. I took this photo in London yesterday.  It’s 23 days before the shortest day and here are these little raspberry canes with ripe fruit. Naturally, this started me thinking that I knew nothing much about raspberries, and possibly almost even take them for granted, even though I really like them (this may apply to more than raspberries now I think about it). What I do know is that, supposedly, the best ones come from Scotland.

Raspberries are actually a member of the rose (rosaceae) family, which sort of explains those little tiny thorns on the canes. They come in a variety of colours from the standard well raspberry colour, through black, purple, blue and yellow.  A single raspberry is made up of around 100 drupelets, which are juicy pulp around a single seed (you always wanted to know that didn’t you) and they are jam packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, have a low glycemic index and are high in dietary fibre. They are one of the parents of boysenberries, loganberries and tayberries.  Who knew a little raspberry could have been so busy …

Oddly enough, scientists aren’t exactly sure about when and where the raspberry originated. They are everywhere of course, in fact there are even some arctic species that are native to Alaska.

We do know that raspberries were first cultivated in Europe over 2000 years ago, so they are among the earliest cultivated berry crops. Unlike many other cultivated crops, raspberries apparently remain very similar in their make up to their wild ancestors and cousins in many ways.

Around 400,000 metric tons of raspberries are produced worldwide. Russia, the US, Serbia, Poland, and Chile are the top producers and the UK squeaks into the top 10 as well.

Aside from eating them fresh, we tend to use raspberries in the sweeter side of our cuisine, toffee, liquorice, sponges, puddings, cakes, yoghurt, biscuits, sauces, mixed in cream, jams, on and on... We also distill it and make raspberry vinegar, raspberry liqueurs, raspberry eau du vie, raspberry vodka and even raspberry leaf tea. We even sing about raspberries … yes we do … think Prince (or the artist formerly known as) “Raspberry Beret”. I would tell you about the origins of “blow a raspberry” but it’s cockney rhyming slang and it’s a bit rude.

7 comments:

Gunn said...

Interesting posting.
I love berries, but they are not here in Norway, this time of the year.

I love the graphic design on the label. It is pretty!

Happy Sunday in London!

Adullamite said...

Folks often offer me raspberry's.

Very interesting but now I long for some overpriced raspberry's!

Sharon Anck said...

Oh dear, now I'm craving a bowl of berries for breakfast and there is not one in my fridge. Oh wait, I do have some raspberry chocolate chip gelato. That will do!

William Kendall said...

Somehow a raspberry cheesecake sounds appealing to me right about now.

Angie said...

Hey, I want to know what that rude thing is - Raspberry Tart?

Jane Hards Photography said...

Things have changed since we moved to the Isle of Man, like imported fruit all year round. Fruit picking is goo too. Lovely reds.

Jack said...

Ted, how on earth do you learn all of these things? Raspberries belong to the rose family? Amazing. You are certainly making the Doll up her game to keep up with your fine food posts.

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