Blackberries vs. Black Raspberries: What’s the Difference?

Some berries are easy to figure out. It's hard to mix up a cranberry with a strawberry, for example. But there's a lot of confusion out there over other different types of berries, especially if you're hunting for wild berries and not relying on signage in a grocery store. Specifically, how do you tell the difference when it comes to blackberries vs black raspberries? If you keep getting them mixed up, here's what you need to know.

They're both wonderful berries - great for pies, cobblers and jams (or just plain eating out of a bowl, maybe with a little bit of sugar dusted on top). But it's important we give them their due respect, so let's get to know them a little better so that you can tell the difference between blackberries vs black raspberries.

Blackberries vs Black Raspberries

So what is the difference between blackberries and black raspberries? That's an excellent question. If you're like a lot of folks, you may not have even known black raspberries exist, let alone that they cause so much confusion. Both blackberries and black raspberries are a type of small bramble berry with a tart, fruity flavor. Both can be found in different parts of the United States, farmed and growing wild, in the summer, though they ripen at slightly different times in the season.

While they may look similar at a quick glance, though, there are some very big differences between the two.

Blackberries

First, blackberries are larger than black raspberries. They have larger, bulging cells, and look glossy. They also have a white core (this is called a 'plug') in their center.

Blackberries are tart, more so than black raspberries. And when it comes to health benefits, North America blackberries are high in vitamin C and fiber, and also contain manganese and vitamin K.

Black Raspberries

Unlike blackberries, black raspberries are much smaller and resemble their red raspberry cousins. They do not appear glossy but instead have tiny protective hairs on their outside. They do not have a core - they have a hollow center, giving them the nickname, blackcap, since farmers are able to take them off the bush without a plug. 

Black raspberries have a unique flavor, sweeter and not as tart as blackberries. Black raspberries make great jams. In addition to having a bright, fruity taste, these berries are also considered one of the healthiest berries on the planet. They contain three times the levels of antioxidants as blackberries and they also contain a large number of anthocyanins, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, according to Oregon State University Food Science

Now that you know the difference, you can appreciate both berries for what they bring to the table. I love starting my mornings with black raspberry jam from France. Blackberries are a favorite ice cream topping of mine and pie filling. Go find your favorite!

This article was originally published on July 25, 2019.

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