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Berries

A Berry for the Ages

May 1, 2018

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By Kelly Smith

As far back as Cave Man/Woman times raspberries have been eaten, as evidence show us by the remains of raspberry canes found in a variety of dig sites across Europe, Asia and North America. Of course this delicious fruit is still enjoyed today.

The name Raspberry is derived from the Latin name, Rubus idaeus, means “bramble bush of Ida.” There are a few stories about how the berry got it’s name. Some relate it to fertility others say the berries where grown for the gods of Olympus.

By the European middle ages, the raspberry plant was recognized as a favorite women’s tonic, being used to soothe many of the complaints of the fertile years. Wealthy medieval Europeans used raspberry berries for food and as a pigment as well. In early Christian artwork, raspberries were used to symbolize kindness. Raspberry’s red juice invoked the energy of the blood, which runs from the heart and carries love, nutrition, and kindness through the body. In Germany, raspberry was used to tame bewitched horses by tying a bit of the cane to the horse’s body.

Native peoples of the Americas recognized raspberry’s powerful medicinal and protective properties. In the Philippines, raspberry canes were hung outside homes to protect those who dwelt within from any souls who may inadvertently wander in. Various first nation tribes of Northern America used raspberry to soothe labor pains, ease contractions, and ease nausea.

Raspberry plants are related to the Rose family. It offers all of us an opportunity to remember to be gentle with one another, to be loving and patient. It is only with care and a gentle touch that the Raspberry plant yields fruit. Even the magic of the leaf requires careful, patient treatment; you must wait for it to dry fully before attempting to use it as medicine or food because if you don’t you’re likely to end up with an upset stomach. Raspberry plants invite us to slow down and savor all that must occur before we bear the fruits of our lives.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch ground white pepper

6 tablespoons avocado oil

Directions

Press raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve using a spoon to remove seeds.

Whisk raspberries, rice vinegar, garlic, sugar, sea salt, and white pepper together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle avocado oil into raspberry mixture, whisking rapidly, until dressing is thick and creamy. Let sit until flavors develop, about 10 minutes.

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