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The native red American raspberry was first reported on in 1607 by French lawyer Marc Lesarbot, when he and fellow members of his expedition to Canada "amused themselves by gathering raspberries." Edward Winslow of Plymouth Plantation fame in 1621 also listed raspberries among wild Massachusetts fruits.
The most commonly cultivated raspberries in the U.S. today are the European raspberry (which actually originated in Asia), the American red raspberry, the American black raspberry, and the purple-cane raspberry, a cross between the red and the black. While the black raspberry (also called the black-cap or thimbleberry) is considered the best for cooking, it is a confusing plant, for it can show up in the wild colored red or yellow.
In spite of their aromatic delicacy, raspberries are a very much a good-for-you food, containing high amounts of fiber (including, in pectin, some of the soluble kind, which lowers cholesterol) and cancer-fighters such as ellagic acid and beta carotene
One of the most famous desserts to come out of Berkeley's foodie counter-culture of the 1970s (the same culture that generated Alice Waters of "Chez Panisse" fame, and the general movement towards food that is seasonal, local, organic, and artisan-produced) was Chocolate Decadence, a now much-imitated killer combination of bittersweet flourless chocolate cake lapped with a sweetened raspberry puree, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.