Living Loving Local at Verve this Month: Raspberries
While every province in Canada produces raspberries, in red, black, purple and yellow varieties, the production is just 3% that of blueberries.
A member of the Rose Family (that explains the prickles!) everbearing varieties offer fruit for 4 months of the year starting in July. Most often we eat them fresh but of course raspberries are delicious in a variety of sweet or savoury recipes, on ice cream or your morning cereal.
- Most likely native to Asia, wild raspberries have been eaten since prehistoric times. The Crusaders wrote poems about raspberries “that delicious fruit with the heady perfume” which they discovered on their way to Jerusalem.
- Cultivation began in England and France, probably in the 1600s. While in North America, raspberries were considered a luxury well into the mid-1800s.
- Raspberries are members of the Rose family. Raspberry varieties produce black, yellow and purple fruit, but it is red raspberries that form the majority of the commercial crop.
- More than 80% of Canada’s red raspberries (that’s about 27 million pounds worth for anyone who’s counting) are grown on just 5,000 acres in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.
- In Ontario, commercial production is a mere 1.2 million pounds or 1.6 million tarts worth!
- Raspberries have high levels of the flavonoids catechin and quercetin, anti-inflammatory compounds which have been shown protect cartilage and may have a positive affect on arthritis reduction.
- Raspberries are higher in gallic acid than many other popular berries. Gallic acid is a powerful antioxidant that may help to reduce oxidative stress which contributes to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Raspberries are high in fibre – 8 g/cup, almost double of many local and exotic fruits. A diet rich in fibre helps to maintain good digestion, heart health and glycemic control.
- Each raspberry consists of around 100 individual tiny fruits, called drupelets, filled with one seed.
- Unlike many fruits, unripe raspberries do not ripen after they have been picked.
- Russia is the greatest grower of raspberries in the world. It produces 125.000 tons of raspberries per year.
This month our Verve properties throughout Canada will feature the following raspberry recipes: