Posted by: Memorizing Nature | August 29, 2010

Rules of the Raspberry Road

Raspberries aren’t always red. Sometimes they are yellow, or let’s say, golden. When you pour golden raspberries into a bowl, they look like cereal. The golden ones don’t grow around here, so I have never seen them, except in photographs. I wonder if they taste anything like lemons.   

Here, where the raspberry brambles grow thick and keep spreading, their flowers are modestly innumerable and the berries, predictably red. 

"Some people meticulously examine each drupelet before making a choice; others dive in more fervently." (Photo by E. Medline)

At their zenith, the fruit taunt the air with a smell that is part-wild, part-nostalgia, reminding me of dusty roads and warm jam. Fatless and tastefully acidic, raspberries truly are the best dessert – oh, other than blueberries and strawberries. But they are much better than apricots, and nicer than red apples but not green ones.    

Some rules: if you are going to collect raspberries, you should do so with a white plastic container; that’s the way it was done when I was a kid and no other kind will suffice. The collection container should not be too shallow, or you’ll trip and spill them all over the gravel propping up stems of ditch flowers. Conversely, the container cannot be very deep, or you’ll pick too many and starve the animals.      

If you need to yank at the berry, it is telling you that it’s not quite ripe. Some people meticulously examine each drupelet before making a choice; others dive in more fervently. Wear long pants or your legs will get all scratched. There is a reason they are called raspberries; the canes are mildly prickly. After all, the plant is a member of the rose family.   

Do you know someone who can bake a pie? If you don’t, pour the raspberries over yogurt and don’t worry about it. Have a toothpick on hand. That’s the problem, and the reason blueberries rank slightly higher. The seeds can get caught in your teeth for a whole day, ruining your concentration.      

When raspberries are ripening, it means the summer will last six more weeks. I remember not too long ago, we were picking raspberries with our dog. (He nibbled them right from the stem’s core.) But gradually and inevitably, the fruit tumble to the ground, and their bushes retreat.

Raspberries are then outshone by the misunderstood goldenrod flower, and it is obvious that the summer is getting bored with itself.

*****

Readers – check out another blogger’s post on picking blackberries – A Conscious Search for Blackberries.  (Great title).

Also, take a look at Today’s Flowers.

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Responses

  1. Yellow raspberries taste a LOT like black raspberries, I think. 🙂

  2. What a great post, loved reading and looking at that pretty photo.

  3. I’ve never seen yellow raspberries, only the red ones. They are delicious.

  4. I saw yellow raspberry on the market. But I never eat one. Thanks for your interesting post!

  5. Raspberries are also a great source of natural dyes, if you like shades of pink!

    • Must research the dye angle for future blog posts. Let’s talk.

  6. I never heard of yellow raspberries before. Your post brought back lots of memories of berry picking at Lake Bernard. I know someone who can make pies!

  7. I saw golden raspberries for the first time today. I did not buy any, not liking the seeds but now you have me curious.

    I do hope we have another 6 weeks of summer.

  8. That is such a well-written blog! You know something about transmitting sensations to your readers, well done. There are all the five senses there. Most people only think of sight when they write. I had never even heard of golden raspberries. Now I can almost taste and smell them, and brush my jeeans agianst their spikiness!!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Rosanne. It’s a lot harder to put in words smells and touch and sound than it is to describe what we see, for sure.

  9. I have eaten yellow raspberries, and in my opinion the breeding that had to occur to make them that color also washed out any flavor they may have originally had.

    It’s all red for me! I remember picking raspberries at the high altitudes of the Colorado Rockies; it was always a race between ripening and first frost. Frost often won.

    • I can’t imagine such a short period between raspberry ripening and first frost. You really have lived a life close to the flora and fauna. Oh, and so the yellow raspberries don’t taste like lemons after all!

  10. oh how beautifully written, I love raspberries but find wading through the prickes a bit of a chore!

    • I’m signed in with my WordPress account but I’m more interesting at Crafty green poet http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com

      • Juliet, as an environmentalist, you are the real thing. One of my favourite nature blogs.

  11. When Hurricane Juan hit us in 2003, many tall trees fell, allowing more light in. The wild raspberries took advantage of the situation and are now taking over my backyard. I don’t mind it if the plants bear fruit, but most of them don’t. My grandson picks berries with me and usually eats them as he goes along, so I’m not quite sure how much of a crop we had this past year. The wild blackberries seem to bear more fruit, though there are far fewer plants.

    My grandson and I love eating raspberries squished on toast with a very light sprinkling of white sugar. It tastes like… summer 🙂


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