What are raspberries?
A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many consider them to be the finest flavoured of all the berries.
Raspberries grow well in cool, damp climates, and the red varieties, such as Heritage and Malling Jewel, are the most commonly sold, though you can also find black, yellow and golden types.
They are an essential ingredient in the classic English dessert, Summer pudding, and their flavour combines well with that of other berries.
When are raspberries in season?
Choose the best raspberries
Look for bright, evenly coloured and plump berries, with no mushy or mouldy examples. If you’re buying a punnet, check that the underside isn’t stained – that means the lower level of berries has been crushed.
Avoid raspberries with their hulls still attached; that indicates that they were picked before they were ripe, so their flavour will be tart.
How to prepare raspberries
As raspberries are very delicate, try not to wash them unless absolutely necessary. Just pick off any bits of stalk or leaf. If they must be washed don’t put them directly under the flow of the tap, as they’ll disintegrate. Gently pat them dry with kitchen paper.
How to store raspberries
Arrange them on a layer of kitchen paper on a plate, so that they don’t crush each other, and store them in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge an hour before eating, so that they’re at room temperature. They are best eaten on the same day they were bought or picked.
How to cook raspberries
Serve with cream or ice cream. Use to make jam, tarts, trifles or cheesecakes. Use to make coulis, sauces for game or to flavour white wine vinegar.
Alternatives to raspberries
Try strawberry or blackberry.