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They’re often overlooked in favor of their flavorful berry cousins – but don’t give them the raspberry just yet.
While these bubbly beauties work perfectly when paired with strawberries and blueberries in everything from smoothies to salads, raspberries have enough of a good thing going to be enjoyed just as much on their own.
And there’s plenty of raspberry variety out there, for lovers of nearly every color and taste.
Out In The Cold
Raspberries are one of those rare fruits that don’t mind the winter. In fact, they actually require a bit of the cold shoulder to grow.
A small bit of chill is required before a raspberry seed starts to sprout, so the berry’s bushes can trace their roots back to regions far north of the equator, including areas like Russia, Europe and the Pacific Northwest. (Their name, on the other hand, is derived from something else that helps keep you warm through a long winter: raspise, a 15th-century word for “sweet, rose-colored wine.”)
But as it’s made its way further south, the berry has managed to thaw enough hearts to develop quite a following – and more than a few cultivated varieties.
In fact, raspberries own pretty much half the rainbow at this point, with color-coded varieties that include:
The most popular type of raspberry – at least when it comes to the produce aisle – these cultivars are noted not just for their bright pop of color but their firmness and robust size.
These European natives are typically harvested in the summer and fall and deliver a taste that’s a great combination of sweet and tart. But act quickly: Despite their supermarket popularity, red raspberries are also noted for their short shelf lives.
Some of the most popular types of these raspberries include:
A perfect flagship for the berry brand, Heritage raspberries are widely considered one of the best types of raspberries out there.
Why? In this case, it’s all about quality. Heritage raspberries are particularly hardy, can grow even in poor soil, and preserve so well they make a popular pick for making jellies and jams.
If raspberries in general like the cold, Boyne raspberries could star in the movie Frozen.
These types of raspberries flourish even under extreme arctic conditions, making them one of the most durable fruits on the planet. And while the deep-red buds are a pleasure to eat fresh, it may come as no surprise that they freeze well, too.
A perfect lead-in to the changing of seasons, these berries blossom initially in summer, but sprout up once again just in time for fall.
Prelude raspberries are on the larger side, particularly juicy, and a popular choice for jam.
These types of raspberries are anything but mellow.
In fact, yellow raspberries could be described as a particularly rich-tasting raspberry variety, with flavors that pick up on notes of everything from bananas to apricots.
They also typically turn out sweeter than many other types of raspberries. Though, finding one of these rare breeds at the store is a bit like finding a golden ticket.
Still, you may be lucky enough to come across some of these tasty varieties:
These little nuggets not only have the distinction of being one of the largest types of raspberries, but one of the tastiest, with the Fall Gold raspberry renowned for its balanced bite of sweet and tart.
Just don’t let their name fool you: These types of berries are harvested in the fall, but bear buds in the spring, as well.
We’re sensing a theme here.
Leaving very little to the imagination, the namers of these berries were likely referring to their notable deep golden hue. But their taste is just as noteworthy, with Amber raspberries widely considered one of the best examples of the yellow variety.
These types of raspberries truly signify the peak.
Golden Summits are beloved by growers everywhere for their hardy nature, golden color and particularly large fruit. That they also happen to taste delicious seems almost like a bonus.
Technically, that’s blackish-blue. With a whitish bloom that’s often mistaken for mold.
But despite the colorful confusion, these types of raspberries are straight to the point when it comes to quality. Black raspberries carry a strange but delicious flavor profile, that tastes like a mix of red raspberries and something else all together.
Plus, these types of raspberries are totally hollow, making for an easier – and less seedy – bite.
Some of the finest varieties of black raspberries include:
Not quite as much bite as a croc, but a tasty bit of berry just the same.
Dundee raspberries are particularly noted for their high-quality yields, growing up big, juicy and delicious in spite of such picky factors like soil quality and strong winds.
Bristol raspberries are one of the most delicious types of black raspberries, packing a particularly sweet flavor profile.
These berries also like to pack it in, in general, often growing on the bush in little clusters, making them a perennial favorite of raspberry growers – and pickers – everywhere.
Truly deserving of the crown, Jewels are one of the most popular types of raspberries thanks to an excellence that covers everything from aesthetics to aroma.
Jewel raspberries sport a large shape and glossy outside, and an inside full of some of the sweetest and best-tasting raspberry flavor. In fact, some experts out there have even rated the Jewel the best type of raspberry there is.
But we here at FruitStand believe that no matter their color, all raspberries are equally delightful additions to our world.