Of the 200 edible berries in the Rubus family, Mysore raspberry is one of the few capable of growing in the tropics. Indeed, most berries grow in cooler regions like England’s misty countryside, and alongside fences in lush, bucolic pastures of China.
Origin of Mysore Raspberry
According to the book, “Fruits of Warm Climates,” Mysore raspberries are native to India and Burma, particularly the lower and temperate Himalayas branching out to Punjab, Assam and the green forests of Mahabaleshwar. The book, “Flora of Eastern Ghats” states its range also extends from Kanara southwards, and includes Andhra Pradesh.
From India, seedlings were sent to parts of Africa including Kenya, East Africa and South Africa. Interest spread to Florida, where large, thorny bushes are still found in the homes of some backyards today. Other Mysore raspberry growing countries are Puerto Rico, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Thailand, China, and Malaysia.
Availability of Mysore Raspberry in India
Unfortunately, Mysore raspberry is not a profitable crop on account of its high perishability and difficulty to transport. Within a mere thirty minutes of picking, the fruits must be placed in cool storage to prevent gray mold from forming. Factors such as these inhibit its widespread distribution to distant regions.
Mysore raspberries grow quickly and prolifically, more so than many berries in the same family. However, careful pruning and maintenance is required to prevent overgrowth. In Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands, Mysore raspberries are invasive species.
The berries grow in diverse climates, though all shrubs require steady temperatures: Sudden bouts of frost can kill them quickly. Mysore raspberries can be found at an impressive elevation of 10,000 meters if native to the region, and at a 300-foot elevation in the tropics.
Mysore raspberries grow year-round, but fruits outside of peak season from May through July tend to be of poorer quality.
Where to find Mysore Raspberry in India
Mysore raspberries make their way to the local produce stalls throughout eastern, central and northern Indian regions when in season, although its appearance is spontaneous and erratic. No coordination efforts exist to distribute, research, and market these fruits.
Checking for Ripeness in Mysore Raspberry
Unlike other variants of raspberry, the Mysore raspberry is red when unripe, and slowly shifts to a gorgeous, deep blue before settling on a rich purple hue. Clusters ripen unevenly, and thus, some berries are picked before others.
Taste of Mysore Raspberry
Mysore raspberries have a mildly sweet, smooth flavor. They have less of a bite than red raspberries, but reduced sweetness as well. Some gardeners have expressed disappointment and claim the fruit is insipid, while others rave about its succulent yet subtle taste.
Nutritional Value of Mysore Raspberry
According to a nutritional analysis conducted on 6 samples from 6 scrubs, Mysore raspberries have the following nutritional info per 100g of fruit:
6g Beta carotene (Vitamin A)
2g Retinol equivalent
1.4g Vitamin E
.10mg Vitamin B6
27mg Vitamin C
.1g Saturation fat
.1g Unsaturated fat
Health Benefits of Mysore Raspberry
Mysore raspberries are full of health benefits on account of their remarkable antioxidant profile. Its dark pigment ranks the fruit high in polyphenols and anthocyanins than other, lighter berries in the same family.
The book, “The Ayurveda Encyclopedia” states that raspberries are a refrigerant, astringent, and hemostatic. When unripe, blackberries improve excessive urination, insomnia, sexual vitality, and diarrhea. In its ripened stage, blackberries build blood, improve the goiter, and relieve cholera, insect bites, and stings. The fruit also remedies obesity, gout, arthritis, constipation, and eases childbirth. In Tibetan medicine, Mysore raspberries treat wind fever.
--The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study reporting that the Mysore raspberry’s close relative, Rubus coreanus, improves blood lipid profiles and attenuates atherosclerosis.
--A study published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture measures Mysore raspberry’s antioxidant content as one of the highest amongst 18 other wild berries in the same family. The report goes on to espouse benefits of consuming these fruits, including lowering the risk of heart disease and risk of cancers.
How to Open/Cut:
Ripe berries may be plucked from the vine, but be mindful of the shrub’s thorns. Otherwise, the berries require no deseeding or preparation.
Store raspberries in the refrigerator and consume within two days of purchase. Keep the berries unwashed until ready for consumption, and do not leave cartons of the fruit at room temperature for more than an hour or so.
Mysore raspberries freeze well. Wash the berries and pat dry with a paper towel, and then transfer the batch to a freezer bag or airtight container. They will keep up to a year.
Mysore Raspberry Recipe Ideas and Uses:
Mysore raspberry can be used as a substitute for any recipe calling for red raspberries and blackberries. Thus, a number of culinary applications exist for this luscious fruit.
--Make compote by boiling a pint of berries with a cup of sugar and a quart of water. After 40 minutes, the consistency should be thick enough; if not, the addition of cornstarch will help. Such compote can go atop cream pies and cheesecakes.
--Add berries to top granolas or pancakes. Or, swirl the mashed fruit into the batter of ice cream or any baked good from cupcakes to sweet breads
--Add to smoothies, particularly with strawberries, bananas, and pomegranate juice.
--Make a pie with raspberry filling by mixing 10 cups of berries with 2/3 cup of flour. Coat the fruit with orange peel or lemon rind.
--Top on salads: mix with walnuts, a dark green like spinach or rocket, and a dressing like balsamic or a fresh herb dressing. Add non-dairy cheese if possible.
--Make fresh sangria by adding half pureed berries and half fresh to red wine; including orange slices, cranberry juice, other fresh berries and sugar to taste.
--Use an equal ratio of sugar to berries to make raspberry jam. Add other spices and flavors if desired, such as lemon juice.
|Vegan blackberry pie from|
Apricot, bignay, cherry, fig, grape, date, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, plum, pomegranate, raspberry
Herbs, spices, and oil: Balsamic vinegar, basil, sage, mint, orange juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, rose, port, red wine
A single raspberry consists of many tiny fruits—all with seeds— called drupelets. Each bump on the berry represents a single fruit.
Mysore raspberry’s seeds can remain dormant in soil for many years before sprouting. In enough time, the fruit can take over a region with its zealous growth.
Raspberry lovers of India may soon rejoice, as Maharashtra’s famous strawberry growing region in Mahabaleshwar may soon be growing raspberries as well—as of 2011, the farmers have plans to cultivate imported shrubs from California.
Blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, boysenberry, bramble, dewberry