Boysenberry Festival is back at Knott’s!
I’ve been hearing about the Boysenberry festival since forever and I’m so glad to finally get to experience it. I never even heard or knew what a boysenberry was until I heard it on the radio from all of the advertisements Knott’s has. I’m glad that Knott’s is its #1 advocator of the boysenberry!
So first and foremost, the details of this fun food festival:
When: This year, 2018, you can catch the festival from March 16 to April 8. That’s three whole weeks and not a lot of time. GO SOON!
Where: Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park at 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
What: A food-inspired festival that celebrates and highlights the boysenberry, a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. There are many food dishes that are fused with the boysenberry. Along with the boysenberry flavored food, there are also goods that are made with the boysenberry. You can find things such as chocolate, candy, soap, honey, candles, and the like. You name it, you might just be able to find it here! The fun does not stop there, nope. There are endless entertainments such as shows, dancing, and the petting zoo. To find out more information, please click here.
Who: YOU! And your family.
Price: You must buy a park admission to enter, about $49 for 1 day. I’d recommend buying it online rather than at the door, where it is sold at a higher rate.
Now that the formality is out of the way… onto the good stuff!
Once you’ve entered through the doors of Knott’s, head over to Ghost Town and straight to the Boysenberry Festival area!
Pick up one of these event guides to see what they have in store. Also, pick up a food tasting card! You get eight mix-and-match boysenberry tastings of different items for only $30. The tasting sizes are a decent size, not your average Costco samples, and is enough to share amongst 2 people.
I thought this was a great way to try a little of everything so that is what I did.
Here are the tasting card items ranked from the best items to the not-my-favorite items:
Boysenberry Chicken Wings
Wings! Who doesn’t love wings?! In this sample, you get 4 wings with Boysenberry sauce spread across the top of it. I was afraid that the Boysenberry sauce would be smothered all over the wings, but the way they presented it was perfect! It was not overwhelmingly sweet either. The only thing I would prefer is if the wings were a lot hotter than they were presented.
Location: Outside Spurs Chophouse
Boysenberry Coconut Macaroon
Not to be mistaken with a macaron, the coconut macaroon is a pastry dating back to the 9th century. This macaroon is soft and moist in the middle with a coconut flavor and then dipped in a chocolate, boysenberry ganache. You can barely taste the boysenberry flavor in this but I’m a fan of coconut macaroons so I’ll happily gobble this up. Those who do not like the flavor of coconuts will probably not like this. These can also be bought by individuals for a little under $2.
Location: Inside Ghost Town Bakery
Slow Cooked Boysenberry Short Rib
This sample would probably be the best bang for the buck! It’s a decent size rice bowl topped with slow-cooked boysenberry short ribs and chopped green onions. To dissect it even further, the sauce is a boysenberry hoisin sauce and the rice is a buttery basmati rice. The flavor was savory and a little sweet almost reminds you of teriyaki sauce. I would eat this again. The only thing I was disappointed was the fact that I mainly got bones and barely any of the short rib meat.
Location: Inside Spurs Chophouse
I FELL IN LOVE with the pierogis when I visited Pittsburgh last year! So seeing that they offered pierogis with a twist of boysenberries, sautéed onions, Applewood smoked bacon, and boysenberry sour cream, I was probably more accepting of it than the average Californian. I don’t think pierogis are eaten much here. Anyway, this tasting was served hot! Everything complimented each other and I thought this was a decent take on pierogis. It probably doesn’t compare to the ones I’ve had in Pittsburgh but it was not bad. I liked that they were able to incorporate boysenberries in their sour cream.
Location: Inside Spurs Chophouse
Don’t kill me for saying this, but I am not a fan of elote. Ever since I heard and noticed all of the corn jokes and how your body doesn’t really break down corn, I have been ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about corn. The corn on the cob offered here is topped with boysenberry mayonnaise and boysenberry butter. They also added cheese and you have the option of adding more seasoning and cayenne pepper. To me, I did not really enjoy this as I already do not enjoy eating corn to begin with and the corn wasn’t as juicy as I hoped. The corn was not as juicy as I hoped it to be and the flavor did not mesh well together.
Location: Across from Gold Trails Hotel
Boysenberry Sausage on a Bun
When I read the description on the tasting card, I thought this would be some sort of a sausage biscuit sandwich. I am not a fan of the breakfast sausage but I like red hot links. I was pretty relieved that this was actually like a hot dog. This boysenberry grilled sausage is wrapped in a freshly baked roll topped with boysenberry ketchup, relish, and mustard to your liking. They have the condiments laid out for you so you can choose what you want on your hot dog. Everyone around me was thrown off by the mustard because it looks like a yellowish-brownish red mustard, almost like a weird ketchup color. But, do believe what the label states as it was mustard and not ketchup. The boysenberry relish (shown in the picture) was interesting and I used that to dip my sausage in. I commend Knott’s for their creativity in trying to incorporate boysenberry in everything possible.
Location: Outside Wilderness Dance Hall
Boysenberry Hummus with Grilled Pita Bread
For all of you vegetarians or hummus lovers out there, Knott’s has you covered! No surprises here, it’s literally hummus with pita bread. Doesn’t the boysenberry hummus look like ice cream? I wish it was! The boysenberry hummus comes out of a refrigerated unit scooped by the employee and the pita is warmed over a grill. This tasting was fine, but it wasn’t anything special. This was one of my last tastings and I was already almost full by then, but who doesn’t love warm pita bread?! I couldn’t resist but to eat the whole half.
Location: North of Sutter’s Grill
Boysenberry Cheese Quesadilla
This boysenberry quesadilla had mozzarella and cotija cheese, sandwiched between boysenberry incorporated tortillas (you can smell the boysenberry). On the side, they give you boysenberry salsa and boysenberry sour cream to add to your quesadilla. This sampler was by far my least favorite. I was only able to eat 1 bite out of it and had to throw the rest away. 😦 I don’t like wasting food but nobody else wanted it. The cheese had a weird taste to it and was not completely melted. Instead, it was thick and did not taste like what a quesadilla should taste like. The flavors of this sampler did not mesh well together or were not executed correctly.
Location: Outside Ghost Town Candy
Besides these 8 tasting items, Knott’s also offers a large variety of boysenberry food, including but not limited to boysenberry churros, boysenberry soft serve, and boysenberry boba!
Overall, I had a great time at the Boysenberry Festival at Knott’s and hope to be able to come back again next year!