Raspberries are thought to have originated in Eastern Asia, and the British started to cultivate and improve them in the middle ages. The first raspberry recipes started appearing in cookbooks in the 18th Century, documenting everything from wine to vinegar, desserts and sauces.
British raspberries are on the rise; production levels have almost doubled in the last eight years, reaching over 8,000 tonnes last year, and the trend is only set to continue.
Did you know…?
- The scientific name for a raspberry is ‘Rubus Ideaus’, because they were first found growing at the bottom of Mount Ida!
- Raspberry plants can live long, fruitful lives for up to a decade – pretty impressive!
- Raspberries go as far back as the dinosaurs! They are thought to be native to Asia and have been eaten since prehistoric times.
- Scotland is famous for its raspberry growing, and in the late fifties raspberries were taken from Blairgowrie to Covent Garden on a steam train known as the Raspberry Special!
- A German myth states that to tame a wild horse, you have to tie a wild raspberry twig around its body…
A huge selection of raspberry varieties are available throughout the British season, which include the delicious types below:
- DRISCOLL MARAVILLA Good flavour, medium-sized variety that produces two crop cycles in the season.
- GLEN AMPLE Grown in England and Scotland, Glen Ample is deep red in colour and produces large, juicy fruit.
- OCTAVIA Medium-sized fruit that is available from mid-July to late August.
- TULAMEEN Available from July to August, these raspberries have a sweet taste and fragrance.
- T-PLUS These plants produce large raspberries, and are available through to the end of the season.
- GRANDEUR Large, bright red raspberries that will be in stores from early June to November.
- RADIANCE Available from June to November, Radiance raspberries have a bright colour and a high yield.
Once regarded as a late-summer crop, British raspberries are now available to enjoy from June until November. But there’s no need to worry come autumn; there will be ample supply of the fruit from Spain, Morocco and the USA:
Next time you have a cold, reach for the raspberries; they’re rammed with vitamin C. You’d need to eat 173 grapes to get the 26mg dose that a portion of raspberries provides, and that’s not all: