It's just polite, really, to arrive with a host or hostess gift when you travel to see a friend in another state.
You'll want to buy something regional, and edible, we're assuming, to show off your local pride. And while Southern California boasts many yummy, easily packable choices -- Philippe's mustard, Sriracha, and Graber's olives among them -- you'll likely go with boysenberry preserves if your pal is a breakfast person.
Also, if you go buy them at the source, you have the added benefit of maybe spending the day riding rides. Oh yeah.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Knott's Berry Farm and boysenberry go together like hot summer afternoons and roller coaster rides. Walter Knott is one of the big names behind the berry's twisty-as-a-vine tale, and he and his wife Cordelia Knott helped popularize the oh-so-tart palate-pleaser via preserves pies at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
It's a sweet 'n sticky story that sits as deep inside California's food history, as deep as a seed nestles inside a berry. So when the Buena Park theme park pauses to pay homage to its superstar fruit each spring, boysenberry buffs pause with them, hats doffed.
Well, there isn't too much pausing when there is much boysen-eating to be done. The Boysenberry Festival is going on at the park from March 28 through April 12, and the treats on the menu go well beyond breakfast staples -- think "fried cheese curds with a spicy boysenberry dipping sauce" and a "fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce."
Oh, and step back: There'll be a boysenberry ICEE, too.
That goes well with hot summer afternoons and roller coasters, right? Well, not while you're on the roller coaster, of course. Before and after.
Ribs, chicken, meats with boysenberry-lush touches, and, yes, boysenberry flautas are feastables during the festival, too. There are to-dos beyond noshing that include strolling Ghost Town, which will include boysenberry-themed cut-outs (that's fun to type) and other farm-interesting sights.
And, yep: You can purchase your own boysenberry plant, too.
The fest is part of admission to the theme park, so, that's important.
And should we also stop to salute Rudolph Boysen, who got the whole berry-growing enterprise growing decades ago? We absolute should. Without Mr. Boysen's growing ingenuity, there'd be no boysen-empire today.
Should we come up with more host-gift choices for you, if your out-of-state friend likes breakfast? And you want to show with a SoCal-y treat? Well, there are many excellent foodstuffs made within the region, but a jar of boysenberry preserves is up their in the toast-spreadable pantheon of local goodies, for sure.
Just don't eat all of it during your visit, because your hosting friend may notice.