Buying Tips

Caneberries in baskets

Fresh Handling and Storage

  • When buying fresh raspberries and blackberries, select unblemished berries in dry, unstained containers. The color of raspberries should be medium to bright red, depending on the variety. Blackberries should be shiny and black – avoid those that are dull or reddish. The berries themselves should be free of surface moisture, as moisture accelerates decay.
  • Store fresh raspberries and blackberries uncovered in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase. Berries should be arranged unwashed in a shallow pan lined with paper towels, and washed just prior to use. The berries may be topped with a paper towel to absorb any additional moisture.
  • Shelf life for raspberries and blackberries is short, and they should be consumed within 2-3 days of purchase. Eat at room temperature for fullest flavor.
  • Frozen raspberries and blackberries are considered a staple of a well-stocked kitchen as they provide a beautiful and easily available garnish for desserts and salads, or stand on their own as a simply elegant dessert or sauce. Canned caneberries are an excellent addition to baked goods or sauces.
  • When the summer fresh season is over, remember whole frozen caneberries are available unsweetened in 12 oz. and 16 oz. poly bags, or sweetened in syrup in 10 oz. tins. Canned caneberries in syrup are available in 16 oz. cans.
  • Each raspberry or blackberry is a delicate cluster of 75-125 plump, juicy “drupelets”, which are the individual fleshy lobes holding each seed of the berry. Raspberries differ from blackberries in that the raspberry fruit is hollow, with no core.
  • A healthy food choice – Low in fat and cholesterol, and a good source of Vitamin C, a 1/2 cup serving of raw berries has about the same fiber content as 3/4 cup of brown rice.

Frozen Handling and Storage

  • “Caneberries” defined: Blackberries, raspberries, Boysenberries and Loganberries are all considered “caneberries” because of the characteristic long, stout canes which bear the fruit.
  • “IQF” stands for “Individually Quick Frozen”
  • Whole frozen raspberries and blackberries are available through your local grocer. Blackberries are available in 16 oz. poly bags, while raspberries are available in 12 oz. poly bags.
  • A 12 oz. bag of whole frozen raspberries is equal to about 3 cups frozen berries.
  • A 16 oz. bag of whole frozen blackberries is equal to about 3 cups frozen berries.
  • 10 oz. tins of frozen raspberries in syrup are also available in the freezer section of your local grocery.
  • Whole frozen berries destined for your baked goods should be used frozen. Gently fold into pies, cakes and muffins just prior to use.
  • Store whole frozen berries in their unopened or tightly resealed packages in your freezer. If berries are to be served alone, thaw until they are pliable and serve partially frozen. Add sugar to taste – it brings out both the flavor and the luscious juices.

Useful Tips

  • 1 CUP RASPBERRIES OR BLACKBERRIES equals approximately 1/2 cup puree.
  • A 12 OZ. BAG FROZEN RASPBERRIES is equal to approximately 3 cups frozen berries.
  • A 16 OZ. BAG FROZEN MARIONBERRIES (A TYPE OF BLACKBERRY) is equal to approximately 3 cups frozen berries.
  • STORE FROZEN BERRIES in an unopened or tightly resealed package in your freezer. If berries are to be served alone, thaw until they are pliable and serve partially frozen. Add sugar to taste – it brings out both the flavor and the luscious juices.
  • WHOLE FROZEN BERRIES DESTINED FOR YOUR BAKED GOODS should be used frozen. Gently fold into pies, cakes and muffins just prior to use.
  • PROMPTLY RETURN UNUSED FROZEN BERRIES TO THE FREEZER to prevent them from thawing and re-freezing together.
  • CANNED CANEBERRIES are available in the canned fruit section of your grocery store in 16.5 ounce size cans of Red Raspberry, Blackberry and Boysenberry. On a limited harvest basis, Marionberry, Loganberry and Kotata Berry are also available.
  • CANNED CANEBERRIES are part of a well-stocked pantry and make baking a breeze. They are recommended for baked goods, such as pies and cakes, as well as glazes and toppings.
  • THE MARIONBERRY possesses an exceptional flavor which is unexcelled for freezing, canning, pies, ice cream, flavoring, jams, jellies and purees.
  • WHEN STRAINING PUREE TO REMOVE SEEDS, a food sieve with an extra fine screensize works best. If your food sieve has a larger screen size, try inserting a double layer of cheesecloth.