Raspberries grow in many parts of Europe. The plants prosper above all in moderately cool to temperate climate zones and are thus found less often the farther south one looks. They are now at home in eastern North America, Greenland and New Zealand as well. Although raspberries originally grew primarily in forested areas, they now grow in sunny locations as well.
Raspberries belong to the Rosaceae family. The term “berry” is actually misleading, as raspberries are classified botanically as so-called aggregate fruits (as are strawberries and blackberries as well). A raspberry bush may grow to heights of between 0.6 and 2.0 metres. Its tendrils are covered with small thorns. The fruits can be harvested from June to October.
The pinkish-red colour of the small berries comes from anthocyanins (secondary plant substances), which serve, among other functions, as antioxidants and help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Just 150 grams of raspberries contain one-third of the minimum daily adult requirement of vitamin C.
Usually pinkish red in colour (although both white and yellow varieties exist today), raspberries consist of clusters composed of small orbs. The shape bears a vague resemblance to a thimble covered with fine hairs.
Raspberries ripened in the sun have a very sweet taste. However, their acid content also gives them a slightly sour note. Raspberries are also known for their soft, velvety consistency.