70 Different Foods: Knott's Boysenberry Fest

You've had the sweet side of the famous fruitastic icon, now enjoy some offbeat bites.

Oregon has its marionberry, and Massachusetts its cranberry and Idaho is known for being rather fond of the huckleberry, which is both tasty and cute-of-name.

But 'round about Orange County, and specifically Buena Park? It's all boysenberry, you betcha, and with good reason: The wee purple-hued fruit is forever tied to one of the great theme parks, Knott's Berry Farm. 

And how could it not be, with "Berry" in the name of the very place, and the stories of farmer Walter Knott, who paid a fateful visit to a Northern California farm and subsequently brought boysenberry tastiness to the world?

To honor its boysenhistory, and to look to its boysenfuture, Knott's Berry Farm pauses each spring to host its annual Boysenberry Festival. It's blooming like berries on a vine from March 19 through April 3, but don't think this is all about those mainstay boysenberry-themed foodstuffs like jam and pie.

Some 70 edibles will be featured, and several will come from the savory side of the menu. Think ribs slathered in a tart berry-esque sauce, fried cheese curd (the boysenberry shows up as a dipping sauce), various breads, boysenberry Belgium beer, and boysenberry wine.

New for 2016 is the oh-so-theme-park-ily named "The Fun Stick," which is a "culinary masterpiece that perfectly combines a creamy boysenberry cheesecake, funnel cake, and boysenberry cream." Is it deep fried? Yes, furthering help it ascend to theme-park-y greatness.

To keep The Fun Stick company there's The Fun Bun, which is, wait for it, a cinnamon roll "dipped in funnel cake" and then sent to the deep fryer. The boysenberry cream cheese topper is the last addition.

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Theme park treats, the ante has just been upped. Once already delicious sweets are receiving a funnel cake bath, pre-deep fryer, well, all other amusement-adjacent food-makers everywhere will clearly have to step up their treat-making.

Adding to the specialness of the 16-day run are a bevy of live shows. Nosh on your Fun Stick or Fun Bun while you take in the entertainment.

It's a grand berry, one of the Golden State's best-known agra-offerings, and it is so tied to a city, and a destination within that city, that not stopping to celebrate it each year seems a shame.

So celebrate the boysenberry we shall, in all of its delicious, purple-tastic, shirt-drippy, deep-fried nummy incarnations. 

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