Boysenberry (Boysenberry / Boysenberry) is
- European Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
- European blackberry (Rubus fruticosus)
- American dewberry (Rubus aboriginum)
- Loganberry (Rubus × loganobaccus)
of hybrid varieties.
The Boysenberry (Rubus ursinus var loganobaccus cv Boysenberry) is a Rubus hybrid berry believed to have originated from a cross between loganberries, raspberries, and blackberries in California in the 1920s.
It began with the Great Depression in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s - a difficult time for many people. Swedish immigrant Rudolf Boysen worked on a ranch in California's Napa Valley and enjoyed experimenting with new varieties of flowers and hybrid berry plants.
He planted some seeds produced by crossing the flowers of raspberries, loganberries and blackberries. The plant eventually produced amazingly large, juicy berries, but over time he neglected them and sold his ranch and moved to another ranch in Anaheim.
Thankfully, he passed some of these hybrid plants on to another gardener, who contacted the USDA about this wonderful new berry. There, berry expert Mr. George Darrow was so impressed that he set out to explore more.
He contacted Walter Knott, a small fruit farmer and nurseryman at his berry farm in Buena Park, Calif., and together they eventually found Mr. Boysen. He took them to his old ranch to look for some plants, but all they found were wilted, scattered plants with no berries on them.
Mr Knott cleared, fertilized and watered the plants and planted an experimental garden of about 25 different varieties of shrub berries from around the world. When spring came, and Mr. Boysen's plants did not outgrow any other, Mr. Knott dug them up and destroyed them, leaving no cuttings.
Then you can imagine how Boysen felt when, six weeks later, when the berries on the mother plant bloomed, Boysen's plant produced its largest berries. Nott soon returned to the old farm and acquired all the old plants he could find for his propagation program.
Since the new berry had no name, Knott, in consultation with the U.S. Government Bureau of Plant Industry in Beltsville, decided to name the new berry the Boysenberry.
progress over the years
By 1935, plants were being sold commercially, and by 1937, boysenberries were being promoted in the United States as a promising new trailing blackberry suitable for commercial use.
It was introduced to New Zealand around that time, and within a decade it was taking root in the Nelson region, as well as other parts of the country.
Over the next few decades, the area under cultivation increased steadily as people realized the potential of the berries to be processed and developed into viable fruits.
While it took some time for boysenberries to be introduced to consumers outside of the United States and New Zealand, once they "discovered" this wonderful fruit, they remain loyal customers. Since its inception, New Zealand Boysenberries have developed long-term relationships with customers across Europe, with Boysenberries introduced to the UK in the 1990s.
Today, New Zealand is the world's largest producer and international marketer of this juicy fruit.
Boysenberries are a good source of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and dietary fiber.
Boysenberries are unofficially considered a "superfood." They are rich in anthocyanins and natural antioxidants, which help maintain healthy brain cells and prevent oxidative damage that leads to brain aging and Alzheimer's disease.
They contain dietary fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
In most applications, boysenberries are used similarly to blackberries, but are slightly sweeter and more fragile. They are often used in typical jams, jellies or baked goods, but are also delicious in savory appetizers and main courses. They are beautifully cooked into a sauce, infused with wine and black pepper, and served with fresh goat cheese and rosemary buns. Blend boysenberry juice with juniper berries, mustard seeds and beef broth to create a sweet and savory sauce that pairs well with roasted beef tenderloin.
What do boysenberries taste like?
Flavor Profile: Unsurprisingly, boysenberries taste a lot like a cross between blackberries and raspberries. It has the juicy richness of blackberries, the sweet, floral character of raspberries, and a richer flavor than either of its parents.
Boysenberries can also be sweet or tart.