Brilliant Raspberries: So Delicious – No One Can Resist!

Article Written by Lynn Ogryzlo

I love the privilege of being able to grow raspberries in my own backyard. Sometimes I’m harvesting them for an exciting new dessert, but mostly I love puttering around the yard discovering a delicious treat that’s just within arm’s reach.

This year, I’ve had to fight for the few berries I can scrounge from my raspberry patch. Every so often, I see a squirrel standing on his hind legs in front of a bush. He reaches up and picks only the ripest berries until he’s had his fill. I’ve never known squirrels to be raspberry lovers, but it seems that I’m stuck with a gourmet squirrel who’s eating all my precious produce.

Straight off the cane, these sweet, thimble-shaped berries have an intense berry flavor and aroma that make them interchangeable in almost all strawberry recipes. They go well with cheese, which makes pouring raspberry sauce over cheesecake a popular combination. For more exotic flavours, try a chunk of Gorgonzola on top of a puddle of raspberry sauce with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. For extra decadence, pair raspberries and warm foie gras – yum!

 

I don’t know of a farmers’ market or farm stand that doesn’t have an abundance of delicous raspberries at the moment, and thank goodness for that. Next to the red variety, you may also find coloured raspberries like black (Rubus), yellow (Amber) and purple (Royalty) that are all similar in taste and texture to the more common red variety.

 

Raspberries are really easy to pick. The stem and core stay on the plant, leaving it hollow and ready to pop into your mouth. If you have a sweet tooth, add a little fresh Chantilly cream. My favourite flavour combination is raspberries and chocolate. Believe it or not, chocolate ravioli with raspberry sauce is out of this world!

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Raspberries are popular in tarts, syrups, jams, jellies, compotes, sparkling wine and yes, even beer. Frozen raspberries are easiest for making jam; however, fresh raspberries are best for making raspberry vinegar or syrup.

Raspberries are very fragile and need to be handled with care. Choose plump, soft, bright-coloured raspberries that are free from signs of mold. They should not be exposed to the sun or left at room temperature for long periods of time. For a longer storage life, refrigerate them unwashed wrapped in a clean paper towel. They should keep for two or three days.

 

I’ve all but lost the battle for my own raspberries this year. My patch is some 100 feet from the house and that little rodent spots me every time I come after him. I guess I’ll just have to buy them this year. Raspberry season is in full swing, so enjoy this year’s harvest by themselves or added to a delicious recipe!

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Lynn Ogryzlo is Ontario’s Local Food Ambassador, regular contributor to Look Local Magazine and international award–winning author of The Ontario Table. lynnogryzlo.com

 

 

You can pick-your-own
Fresh Ontario Raspberries
at these farms in the area:

 

Andrews’ Scenic Acres
9365 10th Sideroad, Halton Hills
Open daily from 8 am to 6 pm
PYO, picked and frozen berries.
Both July and fall raspberries

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Blueberry Knoll Berry Farm
1091 Hutchinson Rd, Lowbanks
Open Monday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday until 6pm
PYO and picked raspberries

Downey’s Farm Market
13682 Heart Lake Rd., Caledon
Open weekdays from 8am to 5:30pm, weekends until 3:30pm
PYO and picked raspberries

Allison’s Farm Market
10636 8th Line, Georgetown
Open daily from 10am to 6pm
Picked raspberries

Hutchinson Farm
6202 Walkers Line, Burlington
Farm store open daily, weekdays
9am – 6pm & weekends 9am – 5pm
PYO and picked raspberries

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