Raspberries and blackberries should be selected carefully, considering their fragility, especially when stored or displayed outside refrigeration conditions. Fruit should ideally be sound, without signs of bruising, loose juiciness in the package or other signs of damage or defects.

Generally, fruit should look, plump, and of even colour (and therefore ripeness). Raspberries will be red –modern trends are for varieties that show light and bright, non-darkening colour, with a glossy skin. However, some varieties do have a naturally matt or dull appearance, and highly pigmented varieties will tend to darken significantly as they approach full ripeness –whether on the plant, or whilst in store. And some varieties are not red in colour at all, but golden, purple or even black!

Early blackberry varieties may not be black at all, but main-season ones definitely are. Most are glossy when ripe but there are exceptions where a satin skin is attained.