Raspberries and blackberries belong to the rose family and their mildly sweet taste also goes to show just how delicate these fruits are. Both plants reach their peak fruitfulness at the end of June and stick around until the end of summer. They like warm weather, they like to hide from the sun, and they need plenty of water.
However, in return, they provide an abundance of C vitamin, they are a great antioxidant, they act as an anti-inflammatory agent and they are fantastic food for weight loss.
Besides the berries, the leaves of raspberries and blackberries are also a great cure for a whole range of inflammations and diseases. While the raspberry leaves remove any possibility of sudden summer colds, the blackberry leaves are ideal when fighting headaches, intestinal infections, even hemorrhages. Simply by making a tea from them, the leaves of these fruits become a treasury of health.
Pink and dark purple to dark blue in colour, these berries become a real star of the table in the summer months. Raspberries and blackberries go perfectly with just about any kind of pastry, from simple, refreshing homemade ice-cream to luxurious pies and cream cakes. These berries are often used to make the most delicious homemade jams and marmalades which only require a piece of homemade bread to create a delicacy that can be enjoyed all year round.
While the raspberries are mainly reserved to the sweet part of the table, the blackberries go really nicely with cheese, providing a wonderful balance of sweet and salty. It is only important to choose bigger, juicier fruits which have a sweet instead of a sour taste.
If you want to hold on to all the riches of raspberries and blackberries, they are best fresh, just picked, sprinkled with summer rain drops, which freshened them up to just the right temperature. They go as well with other berries as the rest of the summer fruit palette.
You can also make liquors from these elegant berries. The blackberry liquor is a favourite because of its astringency, sweetness and acidity all in one, whereas the raspberry liquor is a little less common, but certainly highly appreciated.
The respect that the raspberries and blackberries enjoy on the gastronomic scene cannot be compared to many other fruits or vegetables. This is why restaurants all over Croatia put them into delicate combinations by accentuating their specialty.
The sweet specialties go from simple sweets such as cheesecake with aromatic raspberry topping from Bistro Kastel in Karlovac, through raspberry roll from Cicibela in Baška, to the more complex ones, such as crème brûlée with raspberries and vanilla, paired with sesame and cognac, that you can find on the menu in Takenoko in Zagreb.
They have decided to add to the already bountiful offer of Bistro Lari & Penati on Petrinjska street in Zagreb by putting on the menu a summer dessert made with whipped egg whites, known as a meringue, in combination with refreshing blueberries and raspberries which create the perfect balance.
If you are ever hungry and you find yourself in the same street in Zagreb, you should definitely make a stop at the restaurant and bar Time. From the magical hands of one of Croatia's most esteemed pastry chefs, Robert Hromalić, comes Nitro cheesecake ice-cream which blends together a favourite ice-cream made with cheesecake cream, butter biscuits and divine sweet and sour raspberry coulis.