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The properties of berries

The term “berries” describes a wide variety of fruit species that are primarily found growing in the wild. These plants thrive in slightly acidic, sunny, and airy soils found in the underbrush. It’s difficult to pinpoint traits that all berries have in common; this is partly due to the many varieties available.

The high content of ellagic acid, a potent antioxidant, is unquestionably an important quality. The presence of anthocyanins and other antioxidant substances, which, in addition to acting as anti-cancer agents, are responsible for the red and purple colour that most berries boast, is very widespread. Generally, the concentrations of vitamins and mineral salts are quite good. Finally, the calorie content is always quite modest.

A focus on the most popular ones

Rather than varieties, we need to talk about actual species, also because the expression “berries” simply indicates a category. Here are the most common and loved berries:

  • Blackberries: This fruit needs no introduction. It is very aromatic, fragrant, sweet, and acidic at the same time. It is a fruit that mainly grows in the “wild”.
  • Mulberry: A tamed version of the blackberry, it is characterised by a more delicate and slightly less intense flavour.
  • Gooseberry: It looks like a dark red and purple-coloured berry with fairly smooth skin. The flavour is distinctly sweet and almost never acidic.
  • Blueberry: Another fruit that does not need any particular in-depth analysis. It is characterised by a distinctly acidic flavour and a smooth skin, tending towards redish-blue.
  • Raspberry: The flavour of raspberry, as everyone knows, is similar to strawberry but less acidic. The appearance is reminiscent of blackberries, despite being red in colour.

How to cook and consume berries

Certain berries, like gooseberries, are best consumed raw, while others need special treatment. For instance, both blackberries and raspberries can be made into jam, which is quite popular as an ingredient for tarts and pastries as well as for “everyday” use (spread over bread).

Other berries, however, are suitable for the preparation of juices and smoothies, such as blueberries. In general, all berries are characterised by a certain versatility, although this is expressed mainly in confectionery cuisine and almost never in savoury cuisine.

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