Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

raspberry Rubus idaeus and other Rubus spp, a fruiting plant of which there are many varieties, grows wild in all the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere, and in some southern parts. The genus also includes the blackberry, cloudberry, dewberry, and salmonberry, and is part of the rose family.

Both raspberries and blackberries can be any colour from white through yellow, orange, pink, red, and purple to black, the difference between being one of structure. The fruit, though called berry, is technically an etaerio of druplets (a cluster of small fruits with stones). The etaerio grows from a core called a receptacle. When a blackberry is picked the receptacle remains inside the etaerio. When a raspberry is picked the etaerio comes away from the receptacle, which remains on the plant as an obvious white, conical structure. The absence of a core in the picked fruit makes raspberries softer and juicier to eat than blackberries.