I’ve always been a late or autumn raspberry man, myself. They seem to have a headier perfume, a fuller, richer flavour, fatter, juicier fruits, and come in greater numbers than early or summer raspberries. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for early raspberries, too, with their sharper, crisper edge, needing a heavier weight of cream (double; unpasteurised; Jersey; yellow as buttercups for preference) and sugar than the later arrivals. But I grow autumn raspberries for choice, and the canes are flowering nicely.
Himbo is the variety. It doesn’t much poetry about it, does Himbo. Not like Malling Admiral (late) or Malling Delight (early), Autumn Bliss (late), Glen Moy (early). But its flavour is up there with the finest, matching its copious production, which is not always the case. The deep scarlet fruits should be on song just when I get back from my holidays in September, finding their way into fools, tarts, jams, ice creams, sorbets or just plain with cream and sugar (see above) and even sometimes without cream.
There are also yellow raspberries (Golden Everest, Allgold) and even black or purple raspberries, I’m told. I suspect these to be raspberry frou-frou. I’ve always found yellow raspberries long on promise and short on delivery. They look pretty enough, particularly when mixed with their redder cousins, but their definitely lightweights when it comes to eating.
The finest raspberries I can ever remember eating were some I found growing wild on the banks of the River Spey in Scotland. I picked them into my hat, and ate them as a pudding after grilling a steak and frying up some chanterelles I had found near the raspberries in butter. The raspberries had a sweetness and intensity that lives in my memory.
NB Not to be confused with Tayberries, a blackberry/raspberry cross, loganberry (another blackberry/raspberry cross, named after Judge James Logan of Santa Cruz, California), or a host of other hybrids such as Dewberry, Boysenberry, Youngberry Tummelberry, Sunberry or Silvaberry.