All About Blackberries: 18 Fascinating Facts About the Fruit
The blackberry is a dark, edible fruit that appears on prickly bushes (brambles) of the genus Rubus, a member of the rose family. Blackberries are native to northeastern North America as well as areas of the US Pacific coast and parts of England. They are a popular ingredient in desserts including cakes and pies, make delicious jellies and jams, are often found in breakfast pastries, and are one of the more popular natural soda flavors here at Rocky Mountain Soda.
In addition to being versatile and delicious blackberries are also good for your health as they contain high levels of antioxidants along with vitamin C and iron. But if you thought that was all there is to know about blackberries, think again. Below we’re going to take a deep dive into the blackberry bramble to discover two-dozen interesting and often little-known facts about this often underappreciated fruit.
18 Little Known Facts About Blackberries
- Bramble is a Middle English word that first appeared in print in the 12th century. It can be applied to any impenetrable thicket, but it is most commonly used in reference to blackberry bushes.
- Blackberry is not a word that has found universal application. In parts of the western US, people do not use the words 'blackberries' or 'blackberry brambles.'' Instead, they use the term "caneberry" which covers both the fruit and the bush.
- The blackberry is closely related to the raspberry with one notable difference - when you pick blackberries the stem breaks off at the branch and stays with the fruit. When you harvest raspberries the stem stays with the branch.
- Technically blackberries are not berries at all. Instead, each fruit is an aggregation of dozens of tiny fruits called drupelets.
- The growing season for blackberries is typically June through September. The exact start and end of the growing season will vary depending on the geographical region.
- Part of Christian doctrine suggests the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head prior to the crucifixion was fashioned from a blackberry bramble. Some Christians also believe blackberry juice represents the blood of Christ.
- Blackberries go bad relatively quickly after being picked. In most cases, they will only last two or three days once they are harvested. If you want to keep them longer you will need to freeze them. Even so, once you thaw them out you'll have to use them quickly.
- Free radicals are imbalanced cells that cause extensive damage to otherwise healthy cells, leading to all manner of ill health. The only weapon against free radicals is antioxidants. Blackberries are rich in antioxidants.
- Blackberries are also high in fiber. In fact, a 100-gram serving typically contains as much as 15% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber.
- Blackberries are also a great source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, and B vitamins. They also contain folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and copper (necessary for bone health).
- The dark coloring of blackberries is more than just aesthetically pleasing. It also indicates that this particular fruit is high in antioxidants. That's a great thing especially if you want healthier-looking skin.
- Practitioners of traditional medicine have used blackberries for centuries to facilitate childbirth and reduce the pain of labor. Turns out blackberries are high in vitamin K which has the ability to act as a muscle relaxant.
- Research indicates that evergreen blackberries (rubus laciniatus) have antibacterial and antiviral properties, with some researchers believing they may also have anti-cancer capabilities, though more study is needed to confirm that.
- In 1835 workers performing excavation work in Jutland, Denmark unearthed the body of a woman that had been preserved in the Peet since approximately 500 BC. Careful examination of her body, clothes and revealed she carried blackberries with her as food.
- Deer both in Europe and North America are fond of eating blackberry leaves as food. Many types of caterpillars have also developed a taste for blackberry leaves.
- There’s an old saying: "blackberries are red when they’re green". This refers to the fact that blackberry fruit is bright red before it ripens. Once ripe it takes on its characteristic dark color.
- As we noted, the term "caneberry" is used in parts of the Pacific Northwest. But that's not the only variation on the blackberry name you'll find in the US. In parts of the northeast people refer to them as "black-caps" or "blackcaps".
- If you’re looking to strengthen your immune system, improve digestion, strengthen your bones, improve your eyesight, bolster the health of your skin, or enhance your mental function, consider eating more blackberries.
Try Our Rocky Mountain Breckenridge Blackberry Natural Soda
If you love delicious, refreshing natural soda that also happens to be vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and free of GMOs, try our Rocky Mountain Breckenridge Blackberry Soda. One sip and you’ll be sold.