Strawberries make up 60% of all fresh berry sales in the UK, with raspberries trailing behind with a mere 19%. Raspberries thrive in cold climates – Russia is responsible for producing over a quarter of the world’s commercial output – but for my money, Scotland produces the best raspberries on the market.
As relatives to the rose, I’m not sure raspberries can be beaten in the beauty stakes. Their delicate form and alluring brightness prove too tempting for greedy admirers to resist. For protection, they bury themselves in the knotted grasp of sharp thorns, which only intensifies the reward after you’ve scraped the backs of your eager hands when picking.
I love the tang of tartness a raspberry brings and how their soft, fuzzy skin bursts with sweet crimson juice. Without wishing to show disloyalty to our beloved strawberries, as far as the pudding menu goes, I’d always reach for the raspberries first. Indeed they are my favourite berry, shining most fervently in confections and cakes. I love the marriage of raspberries and bitter chocolate and find this combination of fresh, trembling raspberry mousse with a wickedly dark chocolate cake base, particularly irresistible.