Black Raspberry

Today 8 July I came across a beautiful hand poured soy candle in a glorious green jar from Zen Moments Candles. I really loved the look but more than that I loved the scent – Black Raspberry. I freely admit that I haven’t heard much of the Black Raspberry before. Raspberry yes. Blackberry yes. Black Raspberry not so much. But now I have stumbled upon them I cannot turn the clock back and it became my mission to 1. burn the Black Raspberry candle 2. find out more about Black Raspberries and 3.Use the Black Raspberries as wrapping inspiration for Black Raspberry candles wrapped three ways.

Green candle jars
Fabulous Green Jars from Zen Moments

The Black Raspberry (Rubus occidenis) not to be confused with the Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis) is native to North America. Affectionately known as “Blackcaps” by growers, Framboisier de Virginie by the French, Schwarze Himbeere by the Germans, and Frambueso negro by the Spanish, the berries have a blue-black round and small fruit and a whitish bloom.

Black Raspberry botancial.jpg

Black Raspberries have a distinct and moderately tart flavor, small seed and a hollow core like the Red Raspberry. And here comes the fun fact – their extremely dark pigment means they can be used as a coloring agent. The USDA stamp on meat was made with black raspberry dye for many years.

According to Oregon Berries, Black Raspberries are the king of berries in terms of health benefits with extremely high overall level of phenolic compounds (ellagic acid, gallic acid and rutin) compared to other berries. The high levels of anthocyanins, which give black raspberries their rich, dark color work as antioxidants.  Antioxidant levels of foods are sometimes measured as ORAC (oxygen radical absorption capacity). The ORAC level of black raspberries is 77 μmoles/TE/g, about three times higher than blueberries, a very powerful antioxidant. You’ve been bested blueberries. Some research is even suggesting that Black Raspberries may help manage blood pressure.

I do like a fact sheet and Oregon Berries as a couple of Black Raspberry beauties. Their Black Raspberry Data Sheet will fill you in on the important stuff like health benefit research, nutritional content, chemical properties and even a corker of a recipe for Black Raspberry Cobbler. If you are keen to know the difference between the Black Raspberry and the Blackberry (and clearly many people are) there’s a great little article to help you out from the Huffington Post and a side by side comparison from Identify that Plant.  You never know when you might need to make this distinction.

And it was not until I had been reading all things Black Raspberry for some time did I make the (now) quite obvious connection between Black Raspberries and Chambord – the world famous French Black Raspberry Liqueur. How could I not have realised? Chambord  is an infusion of raspberries and blackberries in neutral spirit with Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel and cognac made and bottled at LA Sistiere Chateau in the Loire Valley of France. I’ve even been there which makes my Black Raspberry ignorance even more unforgivable. If you are looking for a fabulous cocktail option, apparently the Chambord  Bramble is the way to go.

Armed with my newly acquired Black Raspberry knowledge I set out to wrap the Black Raspberry candles three ways. Wrapping an odd shape like a candle jar with a lid can be a bit of a challenge so I used the method of placing the candle in landscape position at the bottom of a tissue paper oriented in portrait position. I bought the long sides of the paper to the  and then rolled the candle to form a  cylinder.

This is a great little method for cylindrical or close to cylindrical objects. I then embellished one candle with a fabulous deep raspberry taffeta ribbon in crossover, another with a large chiffon bramble green ribbon to match the colour of the jars and the third with a belli band of a botanically correct  Black Raspberry print and a jaunty piece of twine. Nice to get to know you Black Raspberry!


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