Fragile tayberries aren't often sold commercially. But at the farmers market, I was able to track some down from Yerena Farms. Poli Yerena, who happens to be the nicest farmer I've ever met, seemed surprised when I inquired about them. "Well, I only have two crates left, so I didn't put them out. The rest are going to restaurants," he said, producing a crate of gleaming, sangria-hued clusters from the back of his truck.
Although tayberry season runs from July through mid-August, Poli explained that they don't produce continually like raspberries do, but rather have one large, short cropping period. He handed me an open carton for a taste. They were full of seeds and juice like blackberries, but had the conical shape and the color of a raspberry. Because of their sour pucker, I concluded they'd be great with a dose of sugar in a macerated berry dessert, preserved in a jam, or strained, sweetened, and frozen for the ultimate Summer sorbet.
Since tayberries are scarce with a short-lived season, if you see these at a farmers market, succumb to your curiosity and bring a carton home! Have you ever tried these berries? What did you do with them?