It’s no wonder Knott’s Berry Farm is hosting a Boysenberry Festival this month. Namesake Walter Knott was the first farmer to grow the berry commercially and start selling them at his Buena Park stand in the 1930s.
As the story goes, Knott’s business in Buena Park took off after he and his wife, Cordelia, started making preserves and jams, especially from the then newly created berry. When Knott was asked what they were, he called them boysenberries after Rudolph Boysen, the grower who created them.
Things to sample: boysenberry barbecue sauce, fired cheese curds with a boysenberry dipping sauce, fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce as well as boysenberry Icees, frappucinos and lattes at the Gourmet Coffee Hut.
The park will open for extended hours during the festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can expect live music too, like dueling fiddlers, the Jammin’ in the Dark nighttime dance party and other entertainment.
Admission to the festival is free with a theme park ticket. Six tastings of boysenberry treats costs $25 plus tax, and Boysenberry Wine and Craft Brew Tasting (six samples with food pairings) costs $19 plus tax.
(Best deal for Knott’s tickets right now is the online Knott’s Berry Farm for the Cure single day advance purchase ticket that costs $39 for ages 12 to 61 and $35 for children, excluding tax and fees. The website says the price, a savings off the $65 daily ticket, is good through April 12. A portion of the price supports the Susan G. Komen Orange County affiliate.)
Knott’s describes the berry as a cross between a loganberry, red raspberry and blackberry. David Karp writing in the L.A. Times describes the taste this way:
“Large, dark purple, juicy and intense, it derives its unique flavor from its complex ancestry: sweetness and floral aroma from its raspberry grandmother, and a winy, feral tang from three native blackberry species.”
Now you know.