This last weekend I was driving to Montana for a hockey tournament when I saw a sign on the side of the road for “the best marionberry milkshake.” While I didn’t stop and try it, the sign grabbed my attention and made me dig a little deeper into what a marionberry is. So, what is a marionberry?
A marionberry is a cultivar of blackberry developed by the USDA Agriculture Research Service program in cooperation with Oregon State University. It’s actually a cross between the “Chehalem” and “Olallie” varieties. The berry was tested in Marion County, Oregon and the name quickly became associated with the new fruit. Marionberries are sometimes referred to as the “King of Blackberries” and Oregon produces between 28 and 33 million pounds of the berry every year. Marionberries have a balance of tart and sweet, earthy and rich, and have a firmer texture than the common blackberry.
This berry is not to be confused with the former mayor of DC.