Scent of Raspberries


Red Raspberries on a Forest Floor by William Mason Brown

My mid-day meal awaits me : two simple dishes compose it. I sit in the shade of an elm, which grows before my window ; I read Lafontaine; the bookdrops from my hand, and a slight slumber for a moment overshadows my eyes as with a veil ; a zephyr disperses it. I awaken, and the attentive gardener places before me a basket of fragrant raspberries. ' - - How delicious and refreshing this juicy fruit, this gift of bountiful Nature! O! is it possible not to love her for all that she does for the delight and indulgence of man!
The Knickerbocker; Or, New-York Monthly Magazine, Volume 25

The raspberry is almost the earliest fruit of the year in France, and it lasts on the French tabic from the end of April to the end of September. Here nature is less generous with the flue flavoured dark crimson berry. How pleasant it is to pick the pulpy raspberries that often come off the stems as you touch them, and leave white, bald, and pithy stalks, like hat pegs from which the hats have fallen. What fragrance there is in the seed, how refreshing the smell as you bruise the berries, and their nectareous blood reddens your hands. The raspberry is balsamic, refreshing, and eminently wholesome, though delicate people call it cold, and consider that it requires sugar and wine to correct its effect on the stomach. As it is a shame that Milton and Shakespeare should be associated with the weariness of school tasks, so is it a thousand pities that the mature man should have his mind poisoned against that fragrant, fine flavoured, and delicious preserve, raspberry-jam, by the horror of youthful powders—cruel alliance, hideous ambuscade! —lurking wickedly under beguiling sweets.
All the Year Round, Volume 20
 By Charles Dickens

Yes, kind reader, the grateful season of raspberries has again come round, and here we have them in all their richness of variety, size, flavor and perfume. This is above all others emphatically a summer fruit, possessing in a most liberal degree the cooling acids best suited, to the general healthfulness of the body in this feverish and intensely heated summer atmosphere. As this country possesses these conditions of summer-time in a very conspicuous and trying manner, so no country can boast of richer, handsomer, or more fragrant raspberries in great variety with which to refresh our languishing, famishing systems. During the week past we have been very busy among the raspberries,, and of course our taste, smell and general sensitiveness is almost literally filled with them, and having them too in such great variety we are at once in a position to realize their value, and to compare, their merits and demerits among themselves. The surprising fact that most forcibly strikes our attention is the growing demands and keenness of popular relish for the fruit. It would seem that now our people, of every position in life are being waked up to realize the real worth and desirableness of good home grown raspberries. .
The Canadian Horticulturist, Volume 2

At noon the Haunted Wood lay bare its charm to the golden prime of an August day. The myriad-leaved underwood, flecked with too early yellow, veiled as in a light mirage the full glory of the sun. Rushes and sedge, and moss low-lying on the earth, had drunk so deep of sunshine that stalks and leaves burned green as though illumined with an inner fire of life. Sitting in an alcove of wild raspberries, reddening in their own shade of white-lined leaves, and smelling already of raspberry jam—the silence and the sunshine and the ripe fruit called back to mind a certain dear old house of former days. Up the long passages, in those old hot Julys, fragrant whiffs of raspberry jam from the kitchen would sometimes steal right into the wainscotted parlour. Mingling with the smell of sun-warmed fruit thrilled a sense of something sweeter far. An aroma as of white jasmine with ten thousand wild-flowers of the woods, the rarest fragrance of the sweetest flower, dear memory's keenest stimulant, the marshloving Butterfly Orchis, came wafted from some secret corner of the wild. Yet hardly like the dreamy fragrance of an orchis, it was but a suggested fragrance—a momentary thought-scent such as bracken in the rain gives out, wafted from some woodland far away. A scent that made the faces of long-lost friends shine out of dim mists of other days, and the sound of their voices seem nigh at hand.
The Cornhill Magazine
 edited by William Makepeace Thackeray

There were plenty of shelves, on which were kept hundreds of different things prepared by the industry of woman. What a variety! Bunches of dried mushrooms, large bottles of vinegar, rows of bottles with liquors in which various kinds of fruit were steeped, pots of preserves, jams, heaps of yellow wax and white flax.
On the walls were suspended garden tools and bunches of dried herbs and flowers, and the centre of the pantry was occupied by a large table, over which a woman was bent, putting scented raspberries from a basket on to cut-glass plates.
The bees came here also, attracted by the scent of honey and wax, they flew over the raspberries; the woman raised her head and looked with pleasure on the industrious workmen. She was so fond of indefatigable work.
Devaytis: A Novel
 By Maria Rodziewicz√≥wna

 Higher up still the whole of one side of the mountain was tinged with crimson; this was the raspberry patch, and, reaching it, we soon filled our pails. How bountifully Nature had spread her table in that wild country all round I As far as the eye could reach lay the ripe red berries, growing in such abundance that the leaves of the plants were hardly to be seen for the fruit, and you could gather a quart without moving from where you stood, off the little low bushes barely two and a half feet high. In fact they grew so low that yon could sit down and fill your pail, and many of us did, picking meantime, children's fashion, "two in the mouth and one in the basket." And these berries had certainly a most delicious flavour; they beat the common garden raspberry In that, if not in size. There was plenty of other wild fruit, too, all round—black currants, growing on prickly bushes with gooseberry-shaped leaves, large and fine; whilst the wild gooseberry itself, very small although nice for pies, grew on a smooth - wooded bush, and had leaves like our home currants. Then there were the wild plums and cherries, the latter of which grew like red currants all down a stalk—these last made capital jam, but had rather a peculiar flavour if youate them uncooked—the plums were golden green when ripe, and very nice eaten any way, whilst the wild grapes were very delicious. But the raspberry was certainly the best of the wild fruits, and we were in luck, too, for no one had been before us, which we had been rather afraid of, as we heard they were selling at a dollar and quarter the pound in the city, and many people used to live out on the mountains in berry time and sell them, as they fetched such a good price. Right in the middle of the great patch, growing on an overhanging ledge of rock, were some bright blue flowers. I struggled towards them and found they were gentians; and we came across many of them before we had finished our berry-picking. I promised myself a few roots to take back, and in scrambling after flowers I believe I afforded a good deal of amusement to the Western girls, who were there for the purpose of picking berries, and did not allow any side issues to interfere with what they intended to do.
All the Year Round

Now practically and calmly looked upon, raspberry~jam would never inspire the muses to very lofty flight. To most people, jam only means a wearisome dickering on a melting day with a very “near” country-woman who finally comes off victorious with her “ Twenty cents a quart, m’arm, and awful cheap at that.” Another melting day in a kitchen, whose torments only Dante could have described. 'An anxious stirring of a “pound for pound ” mixture in an , enormous porcelain kettle; the bottling and the labeling, “ Raspberry Jam, 1879 ;" the final consignment to the Plutean shades of the “jelly closet.” The prosaic observer sees nothing but these commonplace details ; but to one
who loves nature, even in her preserved form, a jar of raspberry-jam may serve as an effectual aid to reflection, and be the store~house of many delightful memories. There is nothing that holds the very soul of summer as jam does. All the sweet richness and spicy fragrance of long, drowsy days are garnered in that little jar which you push unsentimentally away in a dark corner. But if you had picked the raspberries, yourself, how the summer would have come back to you as you stirred the delicious compound.
It may be rank heresy to declare that there is' no berry like the raspberry, since good Dr. Boteler and John Burroughs have so lauded the strawberry. See what a sturdy, common-place plebeian a strawberry seems beside a raspberry. Think how the two grow. Did one ever pick strawberries for an hour withont having an aching back? Now there is a real delight in picking raspberries. You put out your hand, the long spray sways away from you with all the coquettish grace of a girl. You try again. Again, it is, wit me langzre. But at last, the dainty little jewels of sweetness are in your hand, and you are more than paid for all your trouble. What treasure was ever lightly won? You drop the berries lightly into your basket, and then scramble away over toppling rocks for more. You are caught by brambles and stayed by bushes, but you do not care. The horse, loosely tethered, is quietly feeding. The rich air is as exhilarating as wine. Everything is throbbing with life. The squirrel, flying along the top of the stone wall is in full sympathy with you. He, too, feels that it is a great joy to be alive on such a day, and all the busy, flying little creatures in the grass and in the air share in your pleasure. The faint tinkle of a cow-bell comes musically from a distant meadow. A hidden ' brook, near by, sings in asoft undertone, and occasionally a bird fits by singing a few gay notes. You almost forget that you are “ berrying." You sit, idle for a moment, to drink in the beauty of the scene, but your more practical companion rouses you with, “I’ve picked nearly a quart ,-" and you bestir yourself speedily.
New Hampshire State Magazine, Volume 5