Sunday, August 21, 2011


I always have to mispronounce the word “raspberry” in order to spell it correctly.  (“rasp” and “berry”) Guess what?  It may be in the middle of NFL preseason, but it is also Raspberry season right now as well, so come on down to the Yak at 4PM this Wednesday for some tasty Raspberry Wheat.  Last week’s Cantaloupe Wheat was finished off in record time, so who knows how long this keg will last.  If you wish to learn some history about the berry, read on…

  • There is actually a black raspberry and blue raspberry variety out there
  • Also known as the “hindberry”
  • between Russia and Serbia, they produce about 1/2 the world’s production of raspberries
  • there are approximately 100 drupelets on each berry
  • a raspberry is hollow when picked, but a blackberry is not (thus a black raspberry is hollow when picked)
  • the Boysenberry and Loganberry are both hybrids that came from the Raspberry’s genus—Rubus
  • they are high in antioxidant vitamin C
  • the raspberry aroma comes from a phenolic compound called the creatively named “raspberry ketone”
  • The raspberry grown in Colorado is probably the “Boulder Raspberry” or scientifically, “Rubus deliciosus” (yes indeed!)
  • They can grow in elevations up to 7000 ft

There are many uses for Raspberries (besides beer, of course), and I won’t be able to capture all of them here, but here is a sampling:

  • Raspberry leaf tea
  • Baking: pies, pastries/donuts, cakes, bread, cookies, cobbler, muffins, Raspberry Tart
  • Flavorings: candy, ice cream, lip balm, yogurt, frosting, cream cheese, popsicles, vinegar
  • toppings: cereal, ice cream, yogurt, cake
  • jams and jellies
  • sauces, salsas, spreads, glazes (eg. for chicken)
  • smoothies, and other ice drinks
  • alcohols: schnapps, liquors (specifically rums and vodkas), malt beverages
  • perfume and other scented products like shampoo and lotion
  • aren’t you hungry yet?

My memories about raspberries go back to when I was little and we’d visit my grandma, who grew many raspberry plants.  She would take a bowl of freshly picked raspberries (and maybe some blackberries or black raspberries too), then she would sprinkle on some sugar to cut the tartness and just have us eat it straight from the bowl with spoons.  I’ll take that over a candy bar any day of the week!  I also remember our local IGA bakery making a cream cheese pastry with raspberry filling that was unbelievable.   When I worked at the store I would have at least 1 or 2 of those a week.   In recent years, I ran across the peanut butter aisle in the Gateway Market.  They had an amazing peanut butter from “P.B Loco” (who appears to be out of business now) with chunks of white chocolate and raspberry, what a crazy and tasty combo?!  I guess the only negative thing about raspberries are the teeny tiny seeds.  No promising that your beer won’t end up with seed or two in it…but I guess you’ll have to order one to find out.  Do you have any other good uses or stories about raspberries?  Comment on my blog.


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