Boysenberries are 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long by about 1 inch (2 to 3 cm) wide, and weigh about 8 g. Their large size makes them easy to pick.
The berry’s skin will be a dusty, dark maroon or purple colour. Inside, boysenberries have large seeds. The flavour is sweet.
Boysenberries are juicy and plump, but this also poses a problem. Because they are so soft, it’s hard to get fresh berries to market in any form a consumer might consider purchasing. Consequently, boysenberries are better first processed into a product and then sent to market.
1 cup = 5 oz / 140 g
Store unwashed Boysenberries in refrigerator for up to a few days. Don’t “stack” them; store in a single layer on top of paper towel.
Boysenberries are a hybrid between blackberries and either loganberries or red raspberries; some say blackberries, loganberries and raspberries.
They are named after their developer, a botanist named Rudolph Boysen.
Rudolf Boysen (c. 1895 to 25 November 1950) worked for the city of Anaheim, California, US. He was superintendent of the city’s parks from 1921 until his death in 1950. He had been doing occasional, private hybridization experiments on his own farm in Anaheim. The Boysenberry was just a “chance seedling” that he found growing in a ditch on his farm, and decided to give it a try. Some sources say this was “in the 1920s”; others give the exact year of 1923.
In the late 1920s, George Darrow of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), tried to follow up on reports he’d heard of a large berry someone had developed. He contacted Walter Knott, a farmer who was known for his berry knowledge, and who was a neighbour of Boysen’s. By that time, Boysen was no longer doing his experiments, and had sold the farm where he did the experiments. Darrow and Knott trooped out to the farm, and managed to find a few stray samples of the berry bushes in question, which they successfully moved to Knott’s farm. They developed the bush and the fruit, named it after Boysen, and Knott was even able to start selling berries from his farm fruit stand by 1935. Knott went on to became the founder of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Rudolph Boysen is buried at the Melrose Abbey Cemetery in Anaheim, California.