There are around 200 different types of raspberries, blackberries and their genetic mutations - yellow raspberries in the world, with the origin of this fruit being assumed in East Asia. From the archaeological discoveries it is obvious that raspberries were part of the diet already with the Paleolithic collectors, although the proper cultivation was proved to have developer around the 4th century AD. In the helenistic period, raspberries were associated with fertility. In the Greek mythology there is a story telling that raspberries were originally white, but Zeus's nursemaid Ida pricked her finger on a raspberry bush and her blood stained the raspberries red so they stayed until this day. A reminder of this story is the Latin name Rubus Idaeus, which literally means "The bramble bush of Ida".
The cultivation requirements for growing raspberries are not high, they require, in particular, sufficient soil moisture and sunshine, therefore are spread well throughout Slovakia. Their flowers are among the sources of nectar for bees and other pollinators, resulting in a acid-rich vitamin-rich honey with runny consistency. In addition to the wonderful taste, raspberries are excellent health contributor and have beneficial effects on our body. Fruits contain antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, for which the juice is highly valued and used as help against inflammatory diseases. Besides being used in the cosmetics industry as a component in various creams, shampoos, etc., raspberries contain 16% yellowish-green oil, which has a very strong UV factor (30-50), therefore it is suitable as a natural sunscreen.
Last but not least, the raspberry is also used to produced a rare (due to low yield) fruit distillate, which is common in the region of Central Europe and other countries like France, Germany and Italy. For raspberries, the yield is dependable on the sugar content and the water content and varies somewhere in the range of 1-2 liters in the raw state from a 100 liter raspberry ferment. This is a very aromatic and tasteful, dry distillate, suitable as an aperitif to go with lighter meals and fish. It should be served correctly at a temperature of 16-18 degrees in order to distinguish all its organoleptic properties. The production of raspberry distillate begins with a hand-picking of the forest raspberries in the area of the national parks Slovenský Raj and Slovenský Kras, from where the raspberries travel to a distillery where they are, in full ripeness and fresh rolled into barrels. The fermentation takes place 4-6 weeks in hermetically sealed containers without access to air, and thereafter the ferment is distilled in a 4-degree copper column. As a rule, it has been left to age for at least 12 months (most of the years even more) before being bottled.
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