The Marionberry ~ Oregon’s Official State Berry
When you think about them, your mouth waters. When you eat one, the sweetness just makes you want more and when you serve them with a little oatmeal, brown sugar, and butter our guests are in heaven with dessert for breakfast.
That’s the Marionberry and it was born and raised exclusively in Oregon and is known as the “cabernet of blackberries” because of it’s rich, complex earthy flavor. Again, the lush Willamette Valley’s spring rain and sandy soil provides the perfect medium to grow these lovely berries.
A cross between a Chehalem and Olallieberry, the Marionberry, or marion blackberry, created in 1945 at OSU and released in 1956. It was created to fulfill a need for a sturdy berry that could be frozen and put into processed foods and has now become the number one berry crop that is frozen then sold throughout the US and Canada.
The 28 to 33 million pounds of marionberries that Oregon produces each year make them the most common blackberry in the state, and they account for more than half of Oregon’s entire blackberry crop.
The berry is used in pies, cobblers, crisps and can be served at any meal. Try this simple Berry Crisp
- Using a ramekin, spray with non-stick spray, put 3/4c. frozen or fresh marionberries into the ramekin
- sprinkle 2 tablespoons uncooked oatmeal over the berries, then sprinkle about 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar over the oatmeal and top with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until berries are hot and butter is melted.
- You can play with this easy recipe by adding whatever you like to the berries. I have added hazelnuts, my homemade granola and even some cinnamon is good, too.
Top the berry crisp with a dollop of fresh homemade whip cream and it’s like having dessert for breakfast. Served up with an egg and onion scramble, topped with fresh grated asiago cheese, and several slices of sizzling bacon it makes a simple breakfast at an Oregon Bed and Breakfast.
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