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When to Fall off the Bush: Raspberries and the Art of Letting Go

How I stopped being prickly about being gluten-free and started to make the food I love for myself.
Joy Nemerson
When I’m not developing recipes or producing SideChef content I explore entomophagy aka I EAT BUGS! I cook “Uncomfortable Comfort Food” -See GetBuggie on IG for more!
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Joy Nemerson
When I’m not developing recipes or producing SideChef content I explore entomophagy aka I EAT BUGS! I cook “Uncomfortable Comfort Food” -See GetBuggie on IG for more!
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When the days begin to lengthen the produce gets sweeter and brighter, there’s nothing I crave more than berries. Specifically, raspberries. They aren’t the sweetest berries on the bush - but their tart, bright, fresh flavor makes them my absolute favorite snack. If you’ve ever hand-picked raspberries you might not be surprised to find out that the “rasp” part of “raspberry” derives from the old English which means “rough” likely referring to the thorns found on the fruit's woody vines. They might come from a tough plant, but if you can navigate around their rough edges, they are so worth it.

My relationship with food has, like the raspberry bush, been a little rough. When I turned 16 I reluctantly accepted diagnosis for a slew of food allergies, the most painful of which was an aversion to wheat. Look, I’m not saying it was impossible but from a kid who grew up with pasta four nights a week, and who basically had to be convinced to choke down a green bean this shook my world up. About twice a week I would still sneak gluten-filled-treat: a cookie or a quick crepe, and then spend the rest of the week paying for it. It was a vicious cycle and it had to end.

Personal limitations are not easy to accept and when the world seems to be teeming with stop signs, and barriers between the food you once loved (like tortellini and donuts) it’s easy to get a little bitter. But the interesting thing I learned from raspberries is no matter how strong they are, when they are ripe they simply fall off the vine. I, too, finally let go and was ready to embrace a new way of cooking, eating, and living - one driven by getting into the kitchen and reimagining all of my most beloved foods. To pay homage to this wise fruit and my summer libation of choice I developed my first homemade crepe recipe (gluten-free of course) packed with the sweet and sour flavors of a hot summer day.

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