Black Raspberry vs. Blackberry: How Are They Different?

Blackberries and black raspberries are both delicious, wholesome fruits that often get mistaken for each other. They share a dark, rich purple color and bumpy texture that not many other berries have. Despite their similarities, they’re entirely different fruits.

About Blackberries and Black Raspberries

Blackberries and black raspberries are both members of the genus Rubus, otherwise known as bramble plants. Brambles include raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries. Generally, brambles are thorny, bristly bushes that produce fruit during the summertime.

Surprisingly, blackberries and black raspberries aren’t real berries. They’re “aggregate fruits”. That’s because they’re made of drupelets, or individual nubs, that form together to make one whole “berry.” 

Many types of blackberries thrive in mild climates, though some varieties can withstand warmer regions. Black raspberries, otherwise known as blackcaps or bear’s eye raspberries, prefer colder weather.

What Makes Them Different?

In the wild, blackberries and black raspberries can be tough to tell apart. Once you pick the fruit, you may be able to tell what kind it is by looking at the core. A blackberry has a soft white or green center. Black raspberries are hollow on the inside, because they separate from their stem when plucked.

Blackberries are also larger, shinier, and smoother than black raspberries, which often appear matte with fine hairs over their surface.

Health Benefits of Blackberries vs. Black Raspberries

Both fruits are nutritious. Black raspberries are one of the healthiest berries, packed full of compounds called anthocyanins and antioxidants

Anthocyanins create the dark purple pigment in the berry and have many health benefits. The antioxidants from these fruits may help protect your body from free-radical damage.

While blackberries are higher in natural sugar, they’re also packed to the brim with antioxidants and flavonoids. They offer similar health benefits as other types of berries. Some research has even pointed to blackberries' potential protective benefits against age-related brain diseases. 

Both types of berries are excellent ways to get vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a nourishing part of any healthy diet.

Both Berries Have Delicious Flavors

Blackberries are succulent, juicy berries with a tart flavor. The ripest ones are sweet and tangy, while unripe berries can be sour or bitter.

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The taste of black raspberries is different from red raspberries and sweeter than blackberries. Many people describe them as having a unique flavor, unlike any other fruit.

You can eat blackberries fresh or use them in jams, jellies, and desserts. Many people enjoy sprinkling them on top of smoothie bowls or yogurt parfaits.

Black raspberries are harder to find, but they’re delicious if you can get your hands on them. The taste of black raspberries goes well with just about anything. You can add them to many of the foods that other berries are used in, such as pies, oatmeal, and jams.

When you’re deciding between black raspberries or blackberries, think about what you plan to do with them. If you’re going to bake a sweet dessert, then either option would work well. But if you plan to eat them fresh, you should consider which of their tastes you'd prefer.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

American Indian Health and Diet Project: “Foods Indigenous to the Western Hemisphere.” 

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry: “Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Oregon caneberries,” “The blackberry fruit: a review on its composition and chemistry, metabolism and bioavailability, and health benefits.”

Journal of Berry Research: “Black raspberries in cancer clinical trials: Past, present and future.”

Missouri Department of Conservation: “Common Blackberry.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Antioxidants: In Depth.”

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: “The Blackberry.”

University of Idaho: “Growing Raspberries & Blackberries in the Inland Northwest & Intermountain West.”

University of Vermont Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science: “Fruits of Fall,” “Choosing Brambles.”

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