The red raspberry was first cultivated about 400 years ago on European soil. Cultivation spread to England and the United States, where the native American raspberry was already well known.
In 1845, Dr. Brinkle of Philadelphia became the first successful producer of raspberries in this country, and he originated many varieties. By 1870, this berry had become an important crop in the United States.
The red raspberry is native to the northern United States, and the black raspberry is found in the South. The purple raspberry is a hybrid between the red and the black, and did not become important until about 1900.
The raspberry has a wide range of colors. A yellow is raspberry found growing wild in many areas, particularly in Maryland. The Asiatic species of raspberry has a color that ranges through red, orange, yellow, lavender, purple, wine, to black. Even white berries are found in many species in their wild state. Pink berries have been found in Alabama and Oregon, and lavender ones in North Carolina. In the West, the wild black raspberry is often not quite black, but rather a deep wine in color. The market berry is usually the cultivated berry and is both red and black. There are many varieties of each that are popular. The market runs from supply mid-April through August, and the peak month is July.
A quality berry is plump, with a clean, fresh appearance, a solid, full color, and is usually without adhering caps. Berries with caps attached may be immature. Overripe berries are usually dull in color, soft, and sometimes leaky.
Raspberries are considered a good cleanser for mucus, for catarrh conditions, and for toxins in the body. They are a good source of vitamins A and C. Raspberries leave an alkaline reaction. They should never be eaten with sugar.
Raspberries are wonderful in juice form and can be used as a cocktail before meals, since they stimulate the appetite. Raspberry juice is delicious mixed with other juices.
NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND
Protein: 4.2 g
Fat: 0.4 g
Carbohydrates: 42.4 g
Calcium: 254 mg
Phosphorus: 150 mg
Iron: 1.5 mg
Vitamin A: 2,240 I.U.
Thiamine: 0.29 mg
Riboflavin: 0.30 mg
Niacin: 3.6 mg
Ascorbic acid: 166 mg