The raspberry is a small delicate berry. Raspberries have a similar structure to blackberries, but they are hollow. Red raspberries are the most common type but there are also golden, amber, and purple berries all similar in taste and texture. In the USA raspberries are often imported from Chile, while most of the fruit comes from California. Raspberry season begins in June and lasts through October in the northern hemisphere. In Europe raspberries are grown in most places and imported in large quantities from south eastern Europe, particularly Serbia and Bulgaria.
In general, berries should be dry, firm, well shaped, and eaten within a week after purchase. If you can’t eat them that soon, remember that berries freeze well! It’s best to buy berries that are ‘in-season’ as they’ll cost less and are more ripe and flavorful than ‘out-of-season’ berries.
Stay away from containers of berries with juice stains which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy; soft, watery fruit that means the berries are overripe; dehydrated, wrinkled fruit that means the berries have been stored too long.
Select raspberries that are unblemished and dry, in an unstained container. Raspberries should be medium to bright red, depending on the variety. Moisture will increase spoilage, so the berries themselves should be relatively dry. Shelf life for raspberries is short, and they should be consumed within 2–3 days of purchase. Eat at room temperature for fullest flavor.
It is always best to buy fresh fruit but frozen produce is available and especially popular in the USA.
A 350 gram bag of whole frozen raspberries is equal to about 3 cups frozen berries.
Store whole frozen berries in their unopened or tightly resealed packages in your freezer. If berries are to be served alone, thaw until they are pliable and serve partially frozen. Add sugar to taste — it brings out both the flavor and the luscious juices.