When you hear black raspberry and BlackBerry you might think that they are the same fruit just going by a different name. After all, to the naked eye they look alike and they even feel alike. But the only thing they have in common is that they both belong to the genus Rubus. This species is native to North America.
Black raspberries is in the species rubus occidentalis. It is a shrub that grows 2-3 feet and has prickly shoots. The fruit from the shrub is round in shape with droplets. The droplets make for its distinct look. They are high in anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Anthocyanins are water soluble pigments of red, blue, or black which makes the fruit perfect to use as a dye. Anthocyanins also work as an antioxidant so they are held in high regards in the pharmaceutical and nutritional community.
The black raspberry is related to the raspberry though they are part of a different subgenus. They both have that distinct white underside of the fruit. Though they may closely resemble they don’t hold any of the same flavor profile. The black raspberry is grown exclusively in Willamette Valley in Oregon. There are several cultivators there but the main one is Munger. They are picked by hand in the summer and mechanically pruned in the winter and then machined harvested. This process mixed with the low yield per acre makes the fruit very expensive. Chambord a liqueur is made from the fruit.
Blackberries belong to several species within the Rubus family. What distinguishes this fruit from its raspberry counterpart is that it doesn’t have a hollow center. When picked it keeps its core. A is also not considered a berry in the botanical world. It is considered an aggregate fruit with small droplets. Blackberries also grow in more places besides North America. They can be found in the wild in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Chile and New Zealand. Ironically, blackberries are red in their unripe stage.
Eaten for thousands of years they are also known for having high nutritional value. They contain vitamin K, manganese, fiber and vitamin C. The fiber in them helps to maintain digestive health and supports bowel movement. They are also strong in antioxidants because they contain anthocyanins just like the black raspberry.
Blackberries are popular in the kitchen too. They are used to make jams, desserts, pies and crumbles. There is likely not to be a shortage of this fruit because unlike the black raspberry it is cultivated in several different places throughout the world. The leading producer for the world is in Mexico. In the US Oregon is the leading producer and they are also produced in Europe.
Black raspberries and blackberries may be part of the same genus but they are their own fruit. From a far they look alike but up close you can see the difference in the center. They are both tasty and healthy treats.