All About Raspberries

A Brief History

Raspberries come in many colors ranging from yellow, golden, and apricot to black, red, and purple. The wild red raspberry is a native of the northern states, while the black raspberry grows wild in the south. Red and purple are the two main types sold to the fresh market, red being the most popular.

Buying and Storing Tips
  • Look for bright, plump berries that are free of bruises.
  • Store berries unwashed and uncovered in the refrigerator.

When buying, choose berries with a bright, clean appearance and uniformity in color. Berries should be fully ripe, with no stem or center attached. The berries should be plump and dry. Avoid berries that are mushy or contain bruises or mold. Because of high perishability, raspberries should be in constant refrigeration. Use soon after purchase.


Fresh supplies are usually available year-round, with peak supplies occurring from late May to late June and from late August to late October. The winter supply is augmented by Chilean imports from December through March.


The main varieties of the red type are Williamette, Sweetbriar, Meeker, Amity, and heritage.

Preparation Tips

Fresh, sweet berries are at their best alone. They are used to make jams, jellies, and tarts. Try them in salads along with berry-flavored vinegars or make them a tasty complement to roast breast of duck or chicken.


Raspberry Serving Suggestions


Puree or blend raspberries with sugar or honey to taste. Spoon over strawberries or raspberries, or over ladyfingers, ice cream, creme brulee, chocolate terrine, white chocolate cheesecake or regular cheesecake, any flavor mousse or sorbet, or any other fresh fruit.

Drizzle raspberries with framboise liqueur. Serve plain or with Creme Chantilly or Creme Fraiche.

Blend together sour cream, honey or brown sugar and framboise liqueur to spoon over raspberries.

Scatter raspberries over grilled fish, chicken or pork and finish with a splash or raspberry vinegar.

Raspberry Vinegar: Pour 1 pint white wine vinegar over 1 cup raspberries and two sugar cubes and let stand two weeks or until raspberry flavor and color permeate. Use in salad dressings, on fish or poultry or splash into club soda or mineral water.

Spread cream cheese or pastry cream over bottom of chocolate wafer pastry shell. Top with raspberries (or strawberries). purée or mash additional berries, sweeten to taste with vanilla-flavored sugar and spread over berries in pie shell. Chill until ready to serve.


Cheesecake with Raspberries



  • 2 lbs. cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp grand marnier
  • 1-1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • Butter
  • Finely ground almonds
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3-1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sliced almonds
  • Raspberries
  • Flavored (Grand Marnier) whipped Cream

Beat cream cheese until light. Add 1-3/4 cups sugar slowly, followed by the flour. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and Grand Marnier. Fold in orange rind, then raspberries.

Butter 10" spring-form pan and coat with ground almonds. Pour batter into pan. Set pan onto aluminum foil, pulling foil up to form a collar. Set in Bain marie (water bath) and bake at 325 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours. Cover with foil if it starts to brown.

Remove from oven and remove foil collar, let rest for ten minutes. Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla and spread gently on top of cheesecake. Bake for 15 minutes (sans water bath). Remove from oven and cool.

Chill at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Just before serving, cover sides with sliced almonds and garnish with berries and whipped cream.


"Blanket of Heaven"


  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 3 ozs. puréed melon
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. orange Curacao
  • 1 oz. Himbeergeist (raspberry liqueur)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Puree 1/4 of the raspberries in a blender with melon, sugar and orange Curacao. Add the heavy cream. Chill the mixture. Marinate the raspberries with Himbeergeist. Place the chilled "Coulis" on a plate and place the marinated raspberries on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve chilled.


Provided by Driscoll's

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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