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Found in the Northeastern U.S., chokeberries are becoming more widely known under their Latin name, aronia berries. This bit of branding is likely to prevent confusion with chokecherries, the state fruit of North Dakota (and as a cherry, rather than a berry, not on this list). The berries are a bit sour—while they won’t actually make you choke, as their name suggests, they’ll probably make you pucker up—and so are rarely eaten raw. You’re more likely to see them in jams, syrups, salsas and sauces than in baked goods. If you don’t have chokeberries, you can use blueberries.
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Like black raspberries, tayberries are another get-‘em-while-you-can berry; they’re available for only a couple of weeks in July. The tayberry is a Scottish invention, a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, and was named after the river Tay in Scotland. In the United States, they’re grown in California. They make great jams, jellies and pies due to a high pectin content. They can be used just as you’d use a blackberry, but they’re sweeter, so you’ll want to cut back on the sugar!
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Many people in the United States first tasted boysenberry thanks to Dannon; the company made it one of their flavors when they brought yogurt into the mainstream in the 1970s. But the somewhat obscure berry is a real berry, the result of crossing a blackberry with a loganberry with a red raspberry. The dark, sweet berry is a favorite for pies and cobblers, jams and jellies. It doesn’t travel or store well, so the best place to get them is where they grow—along the Pacific coast, from southern California to Oregon. Use the berries in a Big Dutch Pancake, syrup in a sweet summer shandy, and boysenberry preserves to make Butter-Filled Ribbon cookies.