Raspberries remain one of the most consumed berries around the world owing to their sweet juicy taste, rich color, and the power of antioxidants that comes as part of the package. With hundreds of varieties of raspberries available, it’s not easy to choose the best ones, especially as several new varieties are introduced every year through rigorous breeding programs. Amazingly though, each variety consists of a unique combination of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Before we examine each type, let’s learn some insights into how to choose and store raspberries:
Table of Contents
- Choosing and Storing Raspberries
- Types of Raspberry Based on Color
Choosing and Storing Raspberries
Brightly colored raspberries that are plump, full and meaty are the ones you should be looking for. Additionally, if you’re able to grab some sweetly perfumed raspberries that don’t leave any juice stains and have soft floss to their skins, eat them immediately. They’re the perfect, ripened raspberries.
However, be wary of shriveled or flattened berries that are pressed against each other in the container. Also, juice stains on the container is an indication of over-ripened raspberries. If you happen to pick raspberries for yourself, avoid pulling those out that do not slip off the stem easily. The perfectly ripened ones should release effortlessly. If they turn up in a container, those with green caps appended were surely picked too early as it clearly indicates they were pulled out forcefully. Don’t accept those!
If you need to store your raspberries, choose a wide shallow container to avoid any crushing or bruising. Make sure you don’t keep them exposed to the sun. To prevent them from losing their texture, don’t wash them unless you plan to use them.
Source: Harvest to table
Types of Raspberry Based on Color
Here, we classify the most admired popular of raspberries based on their colors:
Red raspberries are often the largest and most popular varieties that you find the most in supermarkets. What sets them apart from others are their size and relative firmness. As you’ll see here, Red raspberries have more varieties than any other types:
Introduced in 1960, Boyne is the summer-producing red raspberry that grows early-season in extreme arctic climates. When it ripens in mid-July, it is medium-sized and is full of flavor. Whether you eat them fresh, store them in containers, freeze them or serve them as desserts, they’re an excellent choice with a sweet and aromatic flavor. Boyne raspberry plants are extremely winter hardy and normally produce medium-sized, deep-red berries.
Unlike other raspberry varieties that are subject to winter injury damage, Boyne doesn’t require trellising to support the canes to ensure abundant fruit production. Boyne is grown on zones 3-6 and its plants are characterized by dwarf canes, simplifying the picking process.
Source: Boyne Raspberry
Heritage is one of the most amazing red raspberries available in the market. Comprising of large, bright-red, firm berries, Heritage is a superior quality fruit. The summer crop starts ripening from July, while the fall crop matures from September and keeps ripening until frost.
Known for bearing exceptional quality, the fall crop is better in quality than the summer crop. Since the plants are characterized by sturdy upright canes, no staking is required. Heritage plants can be grown in poor soil, but proper draining is required. Ideal for fresh consumption, heritage can also be stored frozen and used for making jellies/jams.
Latham is an easy-to-pick summer-bearing red raspberry that adapts well to a range of soil types. The upright, thorny shrub produces mid-sized, flavorful, sweet raspberries can be eaten fresh, canned or frozen. The plant is both cold-hardy and self-pollinating and has an upright growth habit.
However, Latham shrub may contain glasshouse red spider mite, leafhoppers, aphids, raspberry leaf, and bud mite, and raspberry beetle. It may also be affected by viruses like raspberry rust, powdery mildews, raspberry spur light or raspberry cane blight.
Prelude is a self-pollinating, cold-hardy red raspberry that is the earliest to harvest in summer with a bonus harvest in fall. It freezes pretty well and is often used in jams and/or desserts.
The plant erect and vigorous plant is resistant to the Phytophthora root rot disease. It’s highly productive and easy to pick. Primocane, the fall-bearing crop that ripens in September, is bigger than florican, the summer bearing crop that ripens in July.
Source: Stark bros
Bababerry raspberry is an extra-large red variety that can grow up to an inch and a half long. Excellent for eating fresh, canning or freezing, it offers a fine flavor. The plant performs well in the warmest climates of the US and withstands low temperatures as well. It offers a larger crop in June than in autumn.
Canby raspberries are large, tasty, high-quality, bright-red raspberries that were first introduced in 1953. The summer crop is abundant, supported by the strong canes. This variety is ideal for freezing, cooking, canning or eating fresh. To ensure support, they must be planted near a wall or a fence.
September is a variety that offers medium-sized, tart, juicy berries that are sure to excite the taste buds for breakfast. In most northern states, it produces a crop in two seasons: a light crop in June followed by a heavy crop in September. In some southern states, it is common for September raspberry to ripen in August, yet, the strongest flavors emerge during the harvest in September.
It is suitable for fresh-eating, freezing, preserves and pies. September red raspberries are one of the most preferred varieties for children. The pleasant red color combined with the sweet aroma offers a unique taste.
Reaching a maximum height of 6 feet, the September raspberry plant is highly tolerant to freezing temperatures and are grown in many states.
Amity is an ever-bearing variety that brings you big, beautiful, superior quality red raspberries that are juicy and firm with a distinctive flavor. They’re dark red in color and are mostly used in fresh desserts, baked items, and sprinkled over yogurt or oatmeal. The raspberry plant grows 5 to 6 feet in height. The first-year growth offers both in June and August, while a single harvest in the second-year year growth.
Yellow raspberries are yellowish-golden in color, bearing a rich taste of a combination of bananas, apricots, and raspberries. Let’s check out the different varieties available:
Fall gold raspberries are among the largest, most flavorful, yellowish-golden raspberries that ripen during the fall. They pair nicely with the Caroline and are regarded as an excellent, productive variety for East and Midwest growers. Fall gold is an ever-bearing variety, harvesting both in fall and spring. It can be frozen or used for preserves.
Amber raspberry variety is a high-quality yellow raspberry that’s superior to other yellow varieties. It is comparable to the red-colored raspberries that generally taste better than yellow ones. It harvests in summer but ripens rather late.
Golden summit raspberries are large, firm berries golden in color. These are ever-bearing berries available in high yields. They have a great flavor and are known to crop the first season. Mowing it off a few inches above the soil level during the winter would help yield a large fall crop the next season.
Also known as blackcaps, these are blackish-blue, round and small raspberries native to Northern US. On the outer side of the blackberry, there is a whitish bloom, which might be mistaken for mold, but it’s a common feature. The rich, unique taste is reminiscent of both red and black raspberries. Featuring a hollow shape, black raspberries don’t have any core. They bear more varieties than yellow and purple varieties:
Jewel is basically a cross-bred variety between Dundee and Bristol. It’s a customer favorite variety that offers large, shiny, flavorful and sweet black raspberries. Bearing a rich raspberry flavor, the large sized fruit is glossy black in color. According to the New York Fruit Testing Station, these are currently the highest-rated black raspberries.
The strong, sturdy plant offers an early ripening and high resistance to diseases and viruses. It can easily bear harsh winters but it is recommended that you plant it as soon as the soil may be worked in the spring. 1” of water per week is sufficient for regular, shallow cultivation during the growing season of course. Normally, the plant produces high yields of firm berries.
If you’re a jam/jelly lover, Jewel is certainly an excellent choice for you. To prepare a lively, colorful and mouth-watering treat, Jewel can be added to baked treats. They may also be preserved and used all year long. Moreover, the variety contains high levels of phytonutrients, as well as some cancer-preventing nutrients.
Loganberry is basically a cross between the wild blackberry of the Pacific coast and a red raspberry but is generally classified under black varieties. It displays large, deep wine-red berries that ripen in July. Introduced by the lawyer and horticulturist, James Harvey Logan, Loganberry is grown in huge quantities in Washington and Oregon as well as in parts of England and Australia.
To enjoy the best flavor, they must be allowed to darken into deep-wine to purple color. This way, it’s rich, distinct, moderately tart flavor would keep you wanting more and more. It is often frozen for preserve or pie stock, canned or used to make wine.
In addition, Longberries are easy to grow and less demanding. Its vigorous, trailing plant comprises compound leaves of three to five leaflets and prickly canes. Also, they are hardy as well as reasonably resistant to frost and diseases.
Source: Loganberry, Degroot
These are good quality, dull black varieties of black raspberry. Its vigorous, hardy plant is more tolerant of poorly drained soils than other plant varieties. It’s highly productive, but the canes are easily damaged by strong winds.
Bristol black raspberry was introduced by the Cornell Small Fruit Breeding Program in Geneva, New York. It’s an heirloom variety that offers high-yields. What makes the picking easy are its upright growth and cluster formation. The medium-sized, firm and glossy fruit offers a delicious black raspberry flavor.
The plant is highly vigorous but moderately hardy. It is highly resistant to powdery mildew and bears fruit one year after plantation. Soil level of pH 6.5-6.8 is ideal for plant growth. It comprises of tall, spiny canes with very good suckering.
Bristol not only offers excellent flavor but also offers high levels of Nutraceuticals which provides valuable nutrients to your body.
Black hawk is undoubtedly the most productive black raspberry variety. Its large and firm berries, measuring ¾” across, are richly flavored and do not crumble. Its plants are vigorous and virus-free that allow for mid-season ripening. They can rise up to 4-6 feet in height and usually bear heavy yields.
Often regarded as hybrids of black and red raspberries, purple raspberries bear purple fruits with white bloom on the outer side. Following are some varieties:
When it comes to a true purple raspberry, Brandywine is your fruit. It is a hybrid between a red raspberry and a black raspberry which has a soft texture. It’s a large, gorgeous berry with a tart flavor and was introduced by Cornell University in New York. Brandywine is a highly adaptable premium quality raspberry variety.
The less invasive plant of Brandywine raspberry features large, wider-spaced thorns. Apart from being insect resistant, the canes are large, upright that don’t bend over the fruits. It should be planted as soon as the soil may be worked in spring. To promote regular, shallow cultivation, the plant requires 1” of water per week.
Most common uses for Brandywine include preparation of jams, jellies, and pies. When baked in pies and cakes, the purple color turns bright red. Moreover, this variety is extensively used to ferment wines and other spirits.
Sodus is the most popular purple raspberry variety. It features large, tart berries that ripen later than most red and purple raspberries. The plants are sturdy enough to withstand hardiness zones.
Clyde raspberries are extra-large, glossy, firm purple berries that ripen in mid-season. Its plants are hardy and vigorous as well as highly resistant to diseases.
Source: Raspberry depot
Royalty is a highly productive purple raspberry variety that bears one of the highest fruit yields. It was introduced as a cross between a red and a purple raspberry by Cornell Research Foundation. In this way, the large berry size and sturdiness of the purple raspberry is combined with the high fruit quality of red raspberry.
The fruit can be kept frozen, eaten fresh, or used to prepare jams, jellies or even juices. The plant is adaptable, hardy, with good yield potential. They ought to be planted as soon as the soil may be worked in the spring. During the growing season, the plant requires 1” of water for cultivation. Canes should immediately be pruned back to the field to pave way for stronger new canes.
To sum up, plenty of different kinds of raspberries are cultivated in all temperate regions of the world. Based on their color, raspberries are classified into 4 broad categories including red, yellow, black, and purple raspberries. Among these, red raspberries offer the widest range, making the most sought after raspberries. Some raspberries are ever-bearing, which means they can be harvested twice a year, while others are either summer-bearing (that harvest in summer around July) or fall-bearing (that harvest in September).
Depending upon the variety, raspberry plants can withstand extreme temperatures, be sturdy, be grown upright, adapt to various soil types, and produce large or small raspberries of various flavors. Most raspberries can be used in a variety of ways. They can be eaten fresh, frozen, canned, used as desserts, used for toppings in meals and used in other ways.
The single best way to select a raspberry is to taste the different types available and deciding which one suits your taste!