Raspberries are beautiful, red berries with a sweet and somewhat sour taste. They are excellent in desserts and as a topping for pancakes, oats, or yogurt. Raspberries can elevate any dish. You can buy frozen raspberries at any time, but nothing beats plump, fresh raspberries. So when are raspberries in season?
Raspberries are summer fruit and ripen in the months of June and July. This is when you can enjoy raspberries at their best. Fresh raspberries are bright red and plump with a sweet and slightly tart taste. Raspberries will not ripen once picked and should be eaten within three days of harvest.
When Are Raspberries In Season?
Raspberries are a summer fruit. They ripen in the summer months and can be harvested until autumn. In America, the best time to harvest raspberries in the south is in June. In the North, the best time to harvest raspberries is in July.
Raspberries are cultivated across the country. However, most raspberries come from California, Washington, and Oregon.
There are four varieties of raspberries. They come in red, black, purple, and yellow/gold. Each type has its unique taste and health benefits.
Red raspberries are the most common and have a sweet and slightly sour taste. Purple raspberries are a cross between black raspberries and red raspberries. Black raspberries are the sweetest, and they taste like a combination of raspberry and black cherry.
Golden raspberries have a pale-yellow color, and they taste like a mixture of banana, raspberry, apricot, and honey.
The red and black raspberry varieties are primarily grown in America, with California leading the cultivation of both these varieties.
How To Harvest Raspberries When They Are In Season
If you are lucky enough to have your own raspberry bush and are able to pick your raspberries, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you should only choose the fully ripe raspberries, as raspberries do not ripen any further once they have been picked.
A ripe raspberry has a bright color. It is plump and will pull off the tree easily. It is soft but firm to the touch.
Hold on to the branch and then pull on the berry to pick a raspberry. The raspberry will come off, leaving the center of the fruit behind. Don’t pile too many berries on top of each other because they will be crushed.
Use a shallow bowl or dish to store the raspberries and remove any crushed or molded raspberries immediately to avoid the rest of the raspberries rotting.
It is also a good idea to get the raspberries out of the sun as soon as possible. They do not last long when left in the sun or heat, so getting them to a cool, shaded place is essential.
Can You Eat Unripe Raspberries?
Unripe raspberries are not poisonous, so they won’t kill you if you eat them before they are ripe. However, there is no point in eating unripe raspberries. Even though unripe raspberries have a high vitamin and antioxidant content, they taste sour and bland.
Unripe raspberries also contain dangerous levels of raw solanine. Even though raw solanine is not poisonous, it will cause your stomach to cramp and ache. Therefore, it is best not to eat unripe raspberries.
Rather leave them a bit longer on the bush to ripen completely, then enjoy them at their best. Ripe raspberries still contain plenty of nutrients, such as fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants.
How Do You Store Raspberries Correctly?
As mentioned, raspberries do not continue to ripen once they have been picked from the tree. Therefore, it would be best to avoid buying raspberries that are not at their peak ripeness. Ripe red raspberries will look plump and juicy.
When you buy raspberries, make sure that you handle them delicately, as they are sensitive to pressure and can bruise easily. Try to store your raspberries in a single layer if possible. Because raspberries don’t grow on the ground, you don’t need to wash them.
If you do wish to wash them to get rid of any germs, it is best to put them in a strainer and put the colander in a bowl of water. Washing the raspberries will cause them to lose some of their taste. If you see any worms on your raspberries, you can soak them in salt water for an hour.
This should kill and remove the worms. Then, soak the raspberries in freshwater for another hour before leaving them to dry and then storing them in the fridge. Raspberries are only good for about three days in the refrigerator before they start to mold.
If you want to preserve your raspberries, you can freeze them. To freeze your raspberries, firstly pack them in a single layer on a plate. Be sure the raspberries don’t touch each other. Then, freeze them for an hour or two until they are solid.
You can now transfer them to an airtight bag or container and keep them in the freezer. Raspberries lose their texture when they are thawed. They will be mushy. Even though they are not great to eat as is, they are lovely in smoothies or mixed into porridge.
If you plan to use your raspberries while fresh, there are many creative and delicious ways to utilize them.
Seasonal Raspberry Ideas
The best way to eat fresh raspberries is straight from the fridge. But of course, you can use raspberries in many recipes:
- Mix half a cup of raspberries with some Greek yogurt to make a nutritious and delicious snack.
- You can add raspberries to smoothies or muffins to sweeten the mixture.
- Use fresh raspberries to decorate a cake or tart. For example, raspberries make a stunning finish on white icing or a chocolate torte.
- Make a raspberry coulis to pour over pancakes or serve with cheesecake. This raspberry recipe is sure to impress your guests.
- Make some raspberry jam. Although jam requires a lot of additional sugar, it is a great way to use up any leftover raspberries before they rot.