Food facts, Raspberries

Raspberry Nutrition, Selection, Storage and Availability Raspberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and are a source of soluble fibers.  In addition, they contain ellagic acid, a potential cancer-fighting agent.  Raspberries belong to the genus Rubus, a part of the rose family.  When selecting raspberries, look for deep-colored, plump and juicy berries that are fragrant, without the cores attached.  A core means the raspberries were picked too early and the berry will be sour.  Avoid berries that have bruises, are soft and mushy, have black spots or mold.  It is also important to check the bottom of the container to make sure there are no red stains or squashed fruit.  Since raspberries soften quickly and are delicate, they should be used right away after picking or purchase.  They can be stored overnight on a paper towel lined tray.  Do not soak the berries, as their hollow core fills with water and makes the berry less flavorful. Fresh raspberries are available in mid- summer through early fall.

Raspberry Extras There are more than 200 different species of raspberries, but only two are grown on a wide basis. Raspberries are thought to have originated in Eastern Asia.  It was not until the 17th century that the fruit became popular. According to legend, raspberries were originally white. The nymph Ida pricked her finger while picking berries for the crying infant Jupiter, and raspberries have since been tinged red with her blood.  Raspberries are commercially grown for two main markets, the fresh market and for processing.

Information from the Wisconsin Berry Growers Association, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection and the University of Wisconsin-Extension.