You pass through this gate with the key of salivation. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of taste; a dimension of touch; and a dimension of coulis. You are moving into a land of both the present era and of history, of both food and entertainment. You’ve just crossed over into: The Boysenberry Zone. (The Twilight Zone)
History of the Boysenberry
With all due respect to Rod Serling, I am not sure he ever contemplated the boysenberry. It was the invention of Anaheim Parks Superintendent Rudolph Boysen. One day, while staring at the Blackberry, Raspberry and Young berry fruit (Don’t ask me what the Young berry was. They just needed three to make this berry.), Rudolph decided that he needed to make a Frankenstein monster berry. He wasn’t content with the book and the monster found in it’s pages. His dark soul drove him to create a berry so purple that it would die on the vine almost instantly.
In comes Dr. Walter Frankenstein (ahem! Knott! ahem!) with his new fangled ideas about resurrecting berries. He decides that he is going to resurrect this fast dying fruit. Through the power of electricity, or some other purple magic, Dr. Walter was able to bring that ailing plant and its monstrous berries back to life. Soon, he would have his farm a blaze with those berries, robbing us of all the Blackberries, Raspberries and of any knowledge that a Young berry existed. (Seriously. When you find out what a Young berry is let me know. They talked about it in the documentary at the park and I still don’t know.) This “Boysen” berry would find its way into pies, syrups, jams and jellies.
The Boysenberry Festival
Walter Knott, himself, was happy to leave us with these limitations on the berry. It was almost like he was content to just let the berry be a berry, even if it was a monstrosity. But in the year 2014, Knott’s Berry Farm, now under new management, decided to resurrect this vicious berry and inflict it on the world in relish, BBQ sauce, aioli, cheesecake, wines, beers and so much more. This purple berry wasn’t just content to live its life in sweet desserts. It needed to take the savory culinary world by storm as well. Why did it decide to do this? Because it could! So run in fear when you see a purple berry coming to a town near you.
In all seriousness, welcome to Knott’s Berry Farm’s 2017 Boysenberry Festival, where you can have enough boysenberries pass through your system that you might need to check your insulin at every stop. This is not a complaint, just a description of the plethora of good food you have in store for you at Knott’s Berry Festival. There are so many different ways that they serve boysenberry there that you will need to go multiple times during the event just to take all the flavors in, or be with such a large group so that you only get a bite of each item.
Spread out throughout Ghost town, they have placed stops where you can come in, purchase a card for $25 and get six “tastes” of boysenberry throughout the park. To be honest, I am not sure you need to have anything else to eat while there. Or if you do, just remember to keep it light. The boysenberry tastes are so rich that you will need to take it slowly and spread it throughout your day. Here is a sampling of what I had.
As you can see, there is a never ending list of things that Knott’s can do with its Boysenberry. What you see on this card is only a taste of what they have in store for you. They have boysenberry themed foods strewn throughout Ghost Town. Just the dessert list, alone, boggles the mind. But Knott’s is not content to rest on its laurels while other “food festivals” pass them by. Food was not enough!!! Now, they have added a plethora of craft beer and wine tastings set to make any foodies mouth water like a broken water main. (I suppose all you would have to do to make my mouth water is say sushi! But that’s a post for another time..)
Wilderness Dance Hall is the place to be for all things spirits during this festival. There they have a great selection of beers and wines both inside and outside the dance hall situated in ghost town, across from the school house. To partake of this bevy of beverages, you must pay $25 for a wine and beer tasting card. This gives you up to six samplings of all of the different selections. But not to be outdone by the rest of the parks offerings, you can see that they provide an ample selection of cheeses, fruits, and nuts to clean your palate between every sip of wine or beer that you take. Given the plethora of good spirits you get to try, in addition to the food, it’s well worth the price.
While I have discussed the incredible food in picturesque detail, it would seem I have forgotten all of the entertainment that they have to offer. If any of you have read my previous posts on Knott’s Berry Farm, you know any festival with Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies is a festival that I need to be at. There is great food, reasonably priced, lots of entertainment for you and your kids, and, oh yeah, you are in one of the best theme parks in all of Southern California. What more could you ask for? (No I am not going to be your designated driver.)
In conclusion, I have two words of caution. And they are only things that are a concern there, from my perspective, not to diminish this amazing festival of food. One, there are only two things on that card that I would classify as desserts: the Fry Bread, and the Panna Cotta. Beware, the pizza is not a dessert. I have been to other festivals like the Strawberry Festival in Oxnard. There they have Strawberry Dessert Pizzas. Everything about that is a dessert. While at Knott’s Berry Farm, with their pizza, you have a boysenberry sauce base, with ham, cheese and arugula. I thought it was yummy, but I know others who haven’t liked it as much.
And word of caution number two, the boysenberry wine is only for those of you who enjoy your wine extremely sweet. Think plum wine from any Japanese restaurant. It’s incredibly sweet. But you might need something to cut the sweetness from my perspective. It tasted good but it was a bit much. All in all, this year’s boysenberry festival is a resounding success. And it still has two and a half weeks to go. If you haven’t been to the festival yet, I have one question for you. What are you waiting for? Seriously?!? Do you need aliens to come down and tell you to go? Or Elvis? Because I might be able to arrange that.
While I have shown what I love about the festival, what things are looking to try out? What boysenberry delicacies are your favorite from this year or past years? Furthermore, what new things do you think Knott’s should do to add to the festival in future years? If you loved this post, feel free to check out my other posts by clicking the blog link at the top, and click the like button as well. And if you have any questions for me about this or other interesting issues, shoot me a line though the contact the author link at the top. I will get back to you before the aliens come back and take over the earth. Or before big foot decides he’s had enough of hiding and is ready to come out and do a press interview. I promise.
So until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life