BUENA PARK, Calif. — When it comes to boysenberry, Knott’s Berry Farm is like the movie “Forrest Gump.”

Remember the line when Bubba rattles off all the ways to cook shrimp?

What You Need To Know

  • Knott's Berry Farm hosts their annual Boysenberry Festival, a celebration of all things boysenberry

  • The month-long event will feature boysenberry-themed food, drinks, dessert and merchandise and other crafts 

  • Walter and Cordelia Knott, the founders of Knott's Berry Farm, started as boysenberry farmers in Buena Park

  • The boysenberry is a hybrid of  blackberries, loganberries, and red raspberries

Well, chefs and the food and beverage team at Knott's Berry Farm have found many creative, savory, and sweet ways to incorporate their signature boysenberry fruit into the theme park's annual Boysenberry Festival.

From March 18 to April 24, visitors can enjoy a vast selection of boysenberry food and drink items. 

There's crab sushi roll with a boysenberry aioli, chicken dumplings with a boysenberry teriyaki dipping sauce, chicken cordon bleu with a boysenberry cheese sauce, sausage with peppers and onions on boysenberry polenta and a boysenberry filled glazed donut underneath a fried chicken breast topped with a boysenberry bacon jam.

It's all very purple.

For drinks, visitors can wash down all of those food items with a boysenberry horchata, a boysenberry sangria or a deconstructed lemonade with blackberries, loganberries, and red raspberries — the fruits that combined make up a boysenberry.

"It's all about fun," said Andre Lane, executive chef at Knott's Berry Farm, to Spectrum News during a media preview Tuesday. "It's about bringing different things and brings you back to what we're all about — fun, exciting food, unique but doesn't defer too much that you won't know what it is."

The Boysenberry Festival is Knott's Berry Farm's signature event. The festival attracts thousands of visitors and celebrates the hybrid fruit that helped founders Walter and Cordelia Knott found what would eventually become Knott's Berry Farm.

In the 1920s, Walter and Cordelia were farmers in Buena Park, cultivating and selling an experimental hybrid fruit called boysenberry. Boysenberry is a hybrid of blackberry, loganberry, and red raspberry.

The couple sold their boysenberries and other fruits at a roadside stand and later opened a restaurant offering fried chicken dinners and fresh boysenberry fruit pies. 

The restaurant known as Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner became so popular that people traveled far and wide and waited hours in line. Walter created a ghost-town-themed land near the restaurant to keep people in line entertained. And that's the origin of Ghost Town and Knott's Berry Farm.

"We take pride in our boysenberries," said Laura Brubaker, the vice president of food and beverage at Knott's. "We still have boysenberries right underneath the Silver Bullet [roller coaster]."

Aside from the food, drinks, and desserts, the month-long festival will feature boysenberry-themed retail merchandise, crafts, and events such as Snoopy's Boysenberry Jamboree. Knott's also has a museum display where people can learn about the history of the boysenberry.

The festival is included in the price of admission. Visitors can purchase a tasting card for $50 to try out six boysenberry food and drink items.

The festival, said Brubaker, celebrates Walter and Cordelia Knott and boysenberry, the foundation of their success.

"It's about culture," she said. "It's about what Walter and Cordelia created, the farming they did, and I'm so happy that we can keep that living and alive with this festival."