We thought we had tried almost every berry in North America (we are massively in favor of berries in all shapes and sizes) but then we discovered one we had never even heard of, let alone tried: the tayberry! Mulberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries — even gooseberries, cloudberries, and currants — we've tried them all! But the tayberry was something new.
We found this novel berry for sale in jam form at a small stand in Pike's Place Market in Seattle. The enthusiastic young man at the booth told us it is their bestselling jam. Tourists like us probably snap it right up. We couldn't resist, especially after he told us it tasted like a cross between blackberries and raspberries.
Well, as it happens, tayberries are a cross between blackberries and raspberries. It is a hybrid between two varieties of these berries, created around 1962 at the Scottish Crops Research Institute. According to Wikipedia, this is also where it comes by its name: it's named after the River Tay in Scotland.
The jam was quite delicious: a little runny, but with the seeds and tartness of a raspberry jam, but the complementary sweetness of a richer blackberry jam. We are enjoying it thoroughly, and we're already wondering, just a little, if tayberries would grow in our zone.
Have you ever tried tayberries or tayberry jam?
• Find it! Tayberry Jam, $7 at Johnson Berry Farm
Related: Urban Foraging: Can You Identify This Berry?
(Images: Flickr member B.D.'s world licensed for use under Creative Commons; Faith Durand)