Considered by many the most intensely flavored member of the berry family, the raspberry is composed of many connecting drupelets (individual sections of fruit, each with its own seed) surrounding a central core. There are three main varieties black, golden and red, the latter being the most widely available. Depending on the region, red raspberries are available pretty much year-round, with the peak season from May through September. Golden raspberries have a limited availability from June through September, and black raspberries can typically only be found from mid-June to mid-August. Golden and black berries are more likely to be carried at produce markets and farmers' markets. Choose brightly colored, plump berries sans hull. If the hulls are still attached, the berries were picked too early and will undoubtedly be tart. Avoid soft, shriveled or moldy berries. Store (preferably in a single layer) in a moistureproof container in the refrigerator for two to three days. If necessary, rinse lightly just before serving. Raspberries are very fragile and are at their best served fresh with just a kiss of cream. They also make excellent jam. Seedless raspberry jam is available commercially. The berries contain a fair amount of iron, potassium and vitamins A and C.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.