Sunday, February 10, 2008

Boysenberries, anyone?

When I was a mere slip of a girl, way back when, my dear Grandfather took me to a dog show - Pugs were his favorite dogs. After the show, we went to a restaurant and I had my first piece of boysenberry pie. Later in my youth, I savored boysenberry preserves at Knott's Berry Farm. We ate our fill of Mrs. Knott's famous chicken dinner, with boysenberry preserves on the biscuits.

I'm a fan of all berries. Huckleberry ice cream is one of my favorites and there is always a berry blend juice in my fridge. But boysenberries hold a special place in my heart. The boysenberry was created from strains of blackberries, loganberries and raspberries. It was developed by Rudolph Boysen in the 1920s in Anaheim before being resussitated by Walter Knott in the 1930s. According to Knott's Berry Farm, all current boysenberries can be traced back to the Knott farm. The theme park itself was developed as a way for visitors to pass the time while they waited for their turn at the famous chicken dinner. So boysenberries are a relative youngster on the berry scene.

It's funny, but I can't say that I have seen these berries utilized in the same way that raspberries and blackberries are used. You don't see them that often in smoothies or yogurt, it's unusual to see them in a pie unless you make it yourself. They are in the obligatory jam and syrup, but that's a bit limited, in my opinion. Berries are great in savory stuff too. I like boysenberries and balsamic vinegar, so why not give them a try in Boysenberry-Balsamic Glazed Chicken?

But if savory berries aren't your thing, there is always fresh biscuits with butter and boysenberry jam. Traditional, sure, but it hasn't hurt Knott's all these years.


Speck said...

When I was little bitty, my family would stop at a little mom-n-pop burger joint on the way home from a trip to the big city. We all got boysenberry milkshakes as an after-dinner treat. It was the only place I ever knew that had them. When I told people about this in later years, they would look at me like I was crazy because they had never heard of boysenberries. I thought they were a real berries until just now. Hummm, learn something new every day.

That burger joint is still there in Benton, Arkansas, BTW. It's the one in the movie Slingblade where Billy Bob Thornton's character orders "some of them fried pertaters, um hum."

Professor said...

This sounds great. I printed it out and it's what's for dinner tomorrow night. (One of my students saw it on my printer and she made a copy and is going to try it with pork chops tonight!) Montana is crazy with chokecherries... I wonder if that would work?

Lorraine said...

Yum. I love boysenberries...mostly because as a kid, when I worked in the berry fields in the summer, they were the easiest to pick. Big, fat filled up your crate in no time.