I grow the Viking cultivar and it's got a modest sweet taste to it. I wouldn't say they're bitter but they are quite astringent. To me it feels like all the saliva in my mouth runs away when I eat one. Kinda like a tongue puckering sensation. But it's more of a sensation, not a flavor. Their flavor is okayish.
They're great in jelly and wine and extremely good for you.
As for sourcing plants, I'd look around for reforestation or spring bare root plant suppliers for native plant establishment. Lots of places sell native plants for wildlife habitat and aronia are sometimes in the mix. Here's a place in Minnesota with them: Honeyberry USA
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I ordered mine from StarkBros, who'll ship to your area and replace any plants that die within the first year.
Unfortunately, StarkBros aronia berries are more expensive than when I ordered mine two years ago. StarkBros is a tad expensive, but has some great deals whenever they've got a sale going due to overstock or whatever.
I haven't tasted mine yet (the first bush of five produced this year, but I pulled them off to let the bush grow better). I'm hoping to jar some fruit juice and make wine out of them. As a kid two decades ago, we used to buy Aronia Berry Juice from Costco by the gallon, and my whole family loved it as a superior taste relative to cranberry-based juices or concord grape juice, but I'm not sure what species Costco used, or if they mixed them with other juices. That was before Aronia berries became a health fad.
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