RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Succulent and intensely flavored, raspberries are actually members of the rose family. Though red raspberries are the most common variety, they come in several other colors, including black, purple, and golden yellow. And here's a fact to impress your friends: What are those little round subdivisions that make up a raspberry called? Drupelets.
Whichever color raspberry you're looking for, try to buy organic. Conventionally grown raspberries are routinely treated with up to 40 chemicals, and 58 percent of raspberries recently tested by the FDA and the USDA were found to contain unsafe pesticide levels. This puts them on the notorious "dirty dozen" list of the most pesticide-contaminated foods. And by the way, this holds true even if you wash them.
At the market or farm stand, look for berries that are firm, plump, aromatic, and brightly colored. Avoid stained or leaking containers; either likely means the berries are overripe. Fresh raspberries are fragile and highly perishable, so eat them right away if you can (wash them in cold water just before using). You can extend their freshness for a day or two by arranging them in a single layer in a loosely covered, moistureproof container in the fridge.
Raspberries are delicious eaten by themselves, in baked goods or salads, or in entrée sauces and glazes. They combine well with other fruits and work great in jams. You can also blend raspberries with oil and vinegar to make a simple fruity raspberry vinaigrette. To freeze raspberries, place them in a single layer on a cookie tray and place them in the freezer. Once they're frozen, transfer them to a sealable plastic bag.
Published on: June 25, 2010
Updated on: June 13, 2011