The History of the Marionberry
As American as Walt Whitman, the American
Revolution and berry pie, the Marion blackberry, or
"Marionberry" as it is known by consumers
and marketers, is a distinctly American berry with worldwide
appeal. A cross between the Chehalem and Olallieberry
blackberries, the Marionberry captures the best attributes
of both berries and yields an aromatic bouquet and an
intense blackberry flavor for which it has become known.
This premium quality flavor, described by tasters as
"earthy cabernet" and "sweet with
notes of tartness", makes the Marionberry a superb
choice for canning, freezing, pies, jams, jellies and
ice creams and has earned the Marionberry an outstanding
Since the Marion is considered of
premium quality, it is usually sold as Marionberries
or Marion Blackberries, whereas other blackberry varieties
are sold under a generic "blackberry" label.
Marionberries are sold to the consumer fresh during
harvest season (typically July 10-August 10), and frozen
in 16 ounce poly bags, during the rest of the year.
Marionberries, the most abundantly
planted blackberry variety, are grown exclusively in
Oregon. Here, the spring rains and sandy soils of the
lush Willamette Valley have increased production to
33 million pounds since 1956 when the Marionberry was
first introduced to the American consumer. In fact,
the Marionberry was developed here among the fields
of Marion County and from this birthplace the Marionberry
hails its name. Marion County itself is named in honor
of the daring "Swamp Fox" hero of the American
Revolution, General Francis Marion.
The memorable flavor of Marionberry's
ancestors impressed Walt Whitman enough to write that
blackberries "adorned heaven". It is the
intense blackberry flavor of the Marionberry, coupled
with an enticing aroma and the perfect balance of tart
and sweet flavors, which have this particular blackberry
variety fast becoming an American favorite. "(The
Marionberry) has a true 'berry' flavor."
more information about Marionberries, go to www.marionberries.com/whatis.htm