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RASPBERRY : Rubus idaeus

Actually these are technically also brambles, but generally simply known as raspberries to differentiate. They are usually not as common as their bramble / blackberry cousins, at least not around West Dunbartonshire, but the situation seems to fluctuate. As the warm dry summer of 2023 arrived at the wet solstice more raspberries than previous years were noticed along the Leven towpath.

They are very delicious. Rasberries stay red when ripe. Blackberries are the same colour at first but turn darker until almost black. Rasberries can be pulled off the stalk easily. Blackberries resist. Although not as rampant as blackberries and more vertical and self supporting, they are often found in much the same locations. 

There are hundreds of varieties of raspberry across the world in part due to hybrid breeding, but our local wild one is excellent as it is. Unlike their cousin the bramble. wild rasberries do not go as dark when ripe. 

That botanical name derives from Greek legend. This fruit is found across much of the northern hemisphere: The Dunnet Bay Distillers website tells us more : The scientific name of wild raspberry means ‘Bramble of Mount Ida’. In Greek mythology, a wild raspberry bush is said to have appeared on the slopes of Mount Ida, and its fruit quickly became highly prized by the gods of Olympus. The nymph Ida, the nurse of Zeus, apparently wanted to pick a white coloured wild raspberry from the mountain on which the fruit was growing to calm Zeus’s sorrow. When she was picking the fruit, Ida pricked her breast with wild raspberry thorns. Her blood tinted the fruit a bright red colour and as a result of this event the white berries of wild raspberry became red for all eternity. Think of that when tasting this soft delicate and delicious fruit.

It goes to tell us that it is also known as the ‘hindberry’ in some parts of Scotland because it is a favourite food of deer. It flowers from May to July after which the fruit appear. 

A folk tale told throughout Britain is that the devil spits or urinates on the berries of this botanical after Michaelmas (29th September), because he was thrown from Heaven by Saint Peter on this day. Oops. Don't want to put you off eating rasberries.

In the past bramble and raspberry switches were often hung above door lintels in the Highlands and Islands to ward off the evil eye.

If what looks like a very ripe and ready raspberry resists when you pull it, it is either not ripe enough or could even be an upripe blackberry.

ALL OUTDOOR : https://www.alloutdoor.com/2021/05/25/wild-raspberries-identify-harvest-eat/

DUNNET BAY DISTILLERS website : https://www.dunnetbaydistillers.co.uk/news/caithness-life/beautiful-botanicals-wild-raspberry/

WILD FOOD UK : https://www.wildfooduk.com/edible-wild-plants/wild-raspberry/

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