I grew up in a fruit-forward household, so I'm intrigued whenever I come across a variety I don't recognize . So when I found an article about mythical-sounding fruits called tayberries , I knew I needed to try them for myself. A cross between the Aurora blackberry and a European raspberry variety, this relatively young berry breed was developed at the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute, and named after the country's River Tay . It's been said to resemble the tart loganberry — a fruit I've never had the pleasure of trying — but with a sweeter finish. Follow me on my search to locate tayberries and see my comparison photos after the jump.
Fragile tayberries aren't often sold commercially . But at the farmers market, I was able to track some down from Yerena Farms . Poli Yerena, who happens to be the nicest farmer I've ever met, seemed surprised when I inquired about them. "Well, I only have two crates left, so I didn't put them out. The rest are going to restaurants," he said, producing a crate of gleaming, sangria-hued clusters from the back of his truck.
Although tayberry season runs from July through mid-August, Poli explained that they don't produce continually like raspberries do, but rather have one large, short cropping period. He handed me an open carton for a taste. They were full of seeds and juice like blackberries, but had the conical shape and the color of a raspberry. Because of their sour pucker, I concluded they'd be great with a dose of sugar in a macerated berry dessert, preserved in a jam, or strained, sweetened, and frozen for the ultimate Summer sorbet.
Since tayberries are scarce with a short-lived season, if you see these at a farmers market, succumb to your curiosity and bring a carton home! Have you ever tried these berries? What did you do with them?