Yum, raspberries! So sweet and tasty, whether you are eating them plain or with ice cream. But how much do you really know about raspberries? Facts like they have no fat, they come in four different colours and what states and provinces grow the majority of raspberries in Canada and the United States. Learn these facts, plus read about interesting trivia, nutritional facts, what recipes raspberries can be used in and three myths that talk about raspberries.
Do you think you know your raspberries? Test your knowledge against these quick facts:
- Raspberries can be either red, purple, gold or black in colour. Golden raspberries are sweeter than the other varieties.
- The difference between raspberries and blackberries is that raspberries have a hollow core in the middle while blackberries do not.
- In the United States, about 90% of all raspberries sold come from Washington, California and Oregon. In Canada, the province of British Colombia produces about 80% of all raspberries sold in Canada.
- There are over 200 species of raspberries.
- When picking raspberries, look for berries that are firm and dark in colour. They should not be soft or mushy. Gently pull on the berry; if it does not come off easily then leave it on the bush, as the berry is not ripe enough yet.
- Once raspberries have been picked, they won’t ripen any further.
Everyone wants to eat healthier, but often healthy is equated with bland or tasteless food. Well, you can stop thinking like that because here’s a food that is tasty and good for you as well! The medical benefits of raspberries include:
- They do not have any fat, saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol.
- They are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate.
- They are low in calories.
- They can help lower high blood pressure.
- Raspberries have an anti-inflammatory property that may help to reduce inflammation of the joints.
Raspberries can be used in a variety of food dishes. If you know someone who doesn’t like to eat fruit, simply add raspberries to the dish. They taste great and the person won’t even think about the fact that they are eating fruit. Some of the food dishes that raspberries can be used in include:
- They can be made into sauces (for poultry or desserts), jams or jellies.
- They can be eaten fresh, either plain or on top of food choices such as yogurt, ice cream, cereal or salads.
- They can be baked in pies, cakes, breads or muffins.
- They can be in drinks, such as smoothies or punches.
Myths From Around The World
Raspberries are sold and produced throughout the world, which has given rise to myths about why raspberries are red and even one myth about the magical qualities of the fruit.
One popular myth comes from France, which tells the story about how raspberries use to be only white in colour. The myth states that one day, a nymph named Ida was taking care of an infant Zeus (also referred to as Jupiter). Zeus was crying and to help soothe him, Ida picked some white raspberries. But when she went to pick the raspberries, she scratched herself on a thorn and started to bleed. Her blood dripped on the white raspberries, instantly turning them red and they have been red ever since.
Another myth, which originates from Germany, talks about the magical qualities of raspberries. It states that to tame a bewitched horse, one would have to tie a wild raspberry twig around the horse’s body.
Finally, a modern myth tells the story of how raspberries turned a fox’s fur red. In the Tale of the Raspberry Fox, by Henning Buchhagen, there is a fox named Ferdinand. At that time, all foxes were grey in colour. The tale tells how Ferdinand didn’t like to eat meat, so one day he decided to eat some raspberries and discovered that he loved eating them. He kept eating raspberries and the more he ate, the redder his fur became. Ever since then, all foxes have had red fur and like to eat fruit.