Sweet, juicy, with the taste of summer sun and the sweetness of rain; boysenberries are a delicious addition to my day.
Wandering the Farmer’s Market in Stroud we happened upon a stand with fresh wild berries. I decided to try the boysenberries. I popped the first one in my mouth and it occurred to me that while I’ve had many boysenberry products, I don’t think I’ve ever had a fresh boysenberry. I assumed they were just like a blackberry and while in the realm of shape and stature they are quite similar, from a flavor perspective they are indeed their own unique experience.
The boysenberry is a hybrid cross between European raspberry and common blackberry. Records indicate that it originated in the U.S. on the Northern California coast. From the 1920’s on it began to make its way around the world. They are similar to blackberries in that they are an aggregate fruit, meaning that each globe contains a seed and technically are an individual berry merging into one large berry.
From a culinary perspective, Boysenberries can be added to any number of culinary endeavors both sweet and savory. Boysenberry is absolutely one of my favorite kinds of pie and also jam...but it’s also a great addition to game dishes. My new favorite way to eat boysenberries is direct from the vine.
From a health perspective, Boysenberries are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are packed with vitamins C, E, and A. They are high in potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron and calcium. Research suggests that the antioxidants in boysenberries promote brain health, they play a significant role in boosting memory and decreasing the oxidative stress that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies also show that the chemical compounds found in the boysenberry are especially beneficial in decreasing the risk of colon and esophageal cancers. They also have excellent anti-inflammatory qualities, helping to decrease inflammation related ailments. From a nutrient perspective the best way to eat berries and maintain the most nutrient density is either fresh or frozen.