Raspberries are a highly delicate and very delicious fruit that can be found in various parts of the world. But if you are out of raspberries at home then you can use several other similar-looking fruits that offer similar textures and flavors!
What are some fruits that look like raspberries? The texture and flavor of raspberries can be found in fruit like blackberries, boysenberries, wineberries, cloudberries, and salmonberries! Some of these fruits may not be widely available but they offer more or less the same delicate texture and flavor as raspberries!
Read below to learn more about some cool raspberry facts, their characteristics, and the best raspberry lookalikes!
What are Raspberries?
A single raspberry fruit is actually a collection of different fruit. That’s right! If you look closely at a raspberry, you will notice several bumps along its surface.
These bumps are called drupelets and each drupe is an individual fruit with its own seed that is held together with other drupes via microscopic hair-like fibers that give the fruit its iconic bumpy shape.
Raspberries are also known to be one of the most delicate fruits in the world.
Since they are held together by these microfibers, they can easily break apart and usually require a very soft touch to handle them.
Contrary to popular belief, raspberries don’t grow on trees, instead, they grow on thorny bushes that look like canes.
These canes can grow up to 6 feet tall and are usually planted in rows to make harvesting much easier.
Raspberries can take several months to grow but once the fruit forms they need to be plucked at the right time before they start to turn black.
However, it is important to note that black raspberries are also edible and are in fact considered to be a variation of raspberries that turn black due to chemical changes within the fruit.
When ready, the fruit is carefully plucked.
Raspberries are held loosely on the canes and can come off very easily – and it is also common for them to deform if you apply too much pressure on them.
It is said that raspberries are only handled once before they reach the end consumer. They are plucked and kept straight into a container that is transported the same day to stores!
Before the advent of pesticides and chemical agents, fresh raspberries used to go bad within 1-2 days but farmers discovered that a combination of FDA-approved chemicals can be used to extend their shelf life up to 3-4 days.
Today, raspberries are available in commercial varieties where they are treated with chemicals to give them a longer shelf life – and they are also sold by small farms that opt for a more natural approach to growing and harvesting raspberries.
In either case, both varieties provide the same great flavor and texture that everyone knows and love!
Characteristics of Raspberries
Here are some of the important characteristics of raspberries. These characteristics will also help you find the right substitute for it!
Raspberries have a reddish color but they can also turn dark purple or black if they are left to grow on the canes.
Young raspberries start as green “bubbles” that mature and take on a redder appearance.
Farmers use their changing appearance as cues that help in harvesting them at the right time.
Raspberries share the same flavor notes as strawberries!
Raspberries provide a sweet and lightly tangy flavor with a complex and subtle floral aroma.
While some varieties of raspberries can be sweet, they are predominately known for their balance between sweet and tangy flavors.
Their tanginess comes from the acidic content in the fruit which can vary depending on how ripe the fruit is.
Red raspberries have a balanced flavor while darker raspberries are known to be sweeter due to their ripeness.
Raspberries have a very delicate texture and can easily break apart if they are even lightly squeezed between the fingers.
As explained above, this happens because each drupelet on a raspberry is held together through delicate hair-like fibers.
When you bite into a raspberry you will notice the flesh to be soft and smooth, except for the seeds which are crunchy and provide a contrasting texture!
Raspberries are used in the same way as any other fruit when it comes to culinary use. They can be used to make jams, jellies, desserts, beverages, and much more.
Interestingly, raspberries are revered in dessert recipes because of their appearance and texture and are usually used as a base for soufflé, cakes, pies, and much more. Of course, they can also be enjoyed on their own as well!
Fruits that Look Like Raspberries
Here are some of the fruits that look like raspberries.
Blackberries are the obvious choice when replacing raspberries when it comes to replicating their flavor. Although blackberries have a tarter flavor, they also provide more or less the same sweetness.
Apart from their color difference, they are texturally the same but are larger and have a uniform shape.
Blackberries can be used in the same way as raspberries and they even have a similar nutritional profile as raspberries too.
Blackberries are more readily available than raspberries in some regions and if you use them in recipes that call for sugar, then they will provide a similar flavor to raspberries!
Boysenberries are a very interesting fruit because they are a cross between loganberries, raspberries, and blackberries. This fruit has a similar reddish appearance but it can also be darker and even have a dual shade of black and red colors!
They are slightly elongated but they share the same bumpy texture found in raspberries.
The best thing about these berries is that they provide a predominately sweet flavor, unlike raspberries which have hints of tartness in them.
If you want a sweet raspberry look alike then we highly recommend that you check out boysenberries, though their availability might be limited depending on where you live because they are mostly grown in North America and some parts of Australia and New Zealand.
Wineberries are perhaps the closest looking to raspberries in terms of their overall appearance and texture.
They form in drupelets like raspberries and are delicate to the touch.
Even though they are usually smaller than raspberries, some varieties can be indistinguishable from raspberries which makes them the perfect look-alike for a range of recipes.
Wineberries have a sweet and lightly tart flavor and their overall flavor profile is less intense but if you are using them in dessert recipes, then they will provide more or less the same look, texture, and even mouthfeel as raspberries!
Cloudberries are one of the most interesting-looking fruits. They look like raspberries as they have a similar-looking bumpy appearance – but they have a beautiful golden-orange color!
They are usually smaller than raspberries and have a sweeter flavor with only mild tartness.
If you are looking for a colorful alternative to raspberries then we highly recommend that you use cloudberries.
Although very common in Scandinavian countries, they are also available in North America, Asia, and parts of Europe.
If your local supermarket has these berries in stock, then we suggest that you try using them instead of raspberries to add an interesting color to your recipes.
The best thing about salmonberries is that they provide a flavor that is a cross between apricots and raspberries.
This gives them an interesting sweet and very lightly tart flavor that can be used to accentuate any dessert recipe!
Salmonberries look like raspberries except that they have a very eye-catching bright orange color.
Some salmonberries can also have a yellow or even a reddish color which makes them very similar to raspberries.
These berries can be found in parts of North America and Europe and are commonly harvested around May and June when they fully ripen!
Raspberries are delicious fruits with a very appealing appearance but if you don’t have them in stock then you can go for many other similar-looking fruits that share the same flavor and textural profile as raspberries!
Now that you know the best raspberry look alike fruits, here are some related questions:
Can strawberries be used instead of raspberries?
Raspberries and strawberries have a similar flavor but strawberries are known to provide a slightly tarter flavor than raspberries.
Another point to consider is their varying textures. Raspberries are very soft and delicate while strawberries can be firm – but both fruits can be used interchangeably in various dessert recipes for more or less the same flavor.
What are blue raspberries?
Blue raspberries are not real and can’t be found in nature. They are instead a man-made flavor that can commonly be found in ice creams, candies, and more.
Blue raspberries have a sweeter flavor and manufacturers use dyes to give blue raspberry products their distinct color.
There are several food items with a blue raspberry flavor. Some of them might even be marketed as containing real fruit, but in reality, these products will seldom use real raspberries and will usually be a mixture of different types of fruits mixed with a blue food dye.