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The Marionberry looks very similar to the common blackberry, but has a more elongated shape and is larger in size. It grows on trailing vines and long canes that can reach up to seven meters long. The berries are comprised of clusters of individual drupelets, or single seed-filled sacks, that surround a solid core. The Marionberry is said to have a superior flavor than other blackberry varieties. Offering flavors of concentrated black cherry, bramble fruits and pine with a pleasant acidity and a lingering sweetness.
Marionberries are available in the late summer and fall.
Marionberries are a member of the Rubus genus and a common variety of blackberry that resulted from a cross between two Oregon blackberry hybrids, the Chehalm and Ollalie berries. They are classified as a caneberry along with blackberries and raspberries. Caneberries are a family of delicate berries that grow on tough but thin woody canes and thrive in a cool, moist climate. Marionberries have earned the name, ‘Cabernet of blackberries’ due to their complex, rich blackberry flavor.
Marionberries are high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, calcium and fiber.
The generously sized Marionberries make a perfect snack, simply enjoyed fresh out-of-hand. They also freeze well, and due to their short season these hybrid blackberries are often sold already frozen or processed for preservation. Though they are a perfect berry for the typical jam, jelly, pie filling and baked good, do not overlook their savory quality. They reduce into an excellent sauce spiked with peppercorns and red wine to pair with pork chops, venison or duck. Balance a spicy poblano pepper puree with Marionberries in a pork belly taco. Use the juice in cocktails containing smoky mescal or a peaty scotch. Other flavor affinities include, coconuts, apricots, peaches, honey, rose, citrus, strawberries, raisins, hazelnut, cardamom, cinnamon, mascarpone, fresh young cheeses, poultry, wild game, pork, chocolate, fino sherry and rum.
Marionberries were named after the county in Oregon where they were developed, near Salem, Oregon.
Marionberries were developed in Corvallis, Oregon by the Agricultural Research and Development Program at Oregon State University. George F. Waldo began developing the Marionberry in 1945, but it wasn’t released and named until 1956. In fact, 90% of commercial Marionberries are still grown in Marion County near Salem, Oregon. Specializing in Marionberries, raspberries, blackberries, and boysenberries, the Willamette Valley in Oregon is considered the “Caneberry Capital of the World”.
Recipes that include Marionberries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Reluctant Entertainer||Oregon Marionberry Galette|
|The New Potato||Goat Cheese Marionebrry Habanero Ice Cream|
|Stahlbush||Simple Marionberry Sauce|
|One Perfect Bite||Marionberry Muffins|