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Old 09-03-2014, 07:07 AM   #1
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Talking about blueberries

We get imported blueberries over here and I buy them as a treat despite the high price - usually around about $3 for a 1/2lb punnet - because they look beautiful and because they are supposed to be good for you. They are always, without fail, a disappointment as they taste of absolutely nothing. I can only assume, having read about the American passion for them, that they don't travel well.

Do they taste better when cooked?

We have bilberries (aka blaeberries, whimberries etc., ect.,) which are gorgeous but only have a short season as they are exclusively gathered in the wild even when bought in a shop. Bilberries are closely related to blueberries but couldn't be different in flavour from the blueberries we buy here.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #2
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Wild blueberries are so much tastier than cultivated ones. I used to take the kids blueberry picking. We would spot a bunch of bushes along side of a country road, each one would grab a pail, and then we would start picking. I always knew they would eat more than would go into the pail. But eventually they would get sick of eating them and the race was on. Who could pick the most.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:55 AM   #3
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It seems to me that blueberries would grow well in your climate, MC. Have you ever looked for blueberry plants?
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #4
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They taste best in a pie.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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They taste best in a pie.
right - or in Muffins

Mad Cook, don't there grow blueberries anywhere in GB? There are a few areas I could imagine...
we are lucky to be in one of Germany's blueberry-areas, so it is easy to get them, but some are better than others, it depends on the farmer - and most likely on the breed (?)..
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #6
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Do you have berries called myrtles?

IMO they are similar to a wild blueberry.

I don't care for raw blueberries and I think the cooked ones benefit from a squirt of lemon juice to wake them up.

Try cooking them with a little water, lemon juice, a shake or two of traditional baking spices. Once they begin to boil and release their juice thicken them with a slurry of cornstarch mixed in water. When the mixture cools try it as a topping for scones or a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:51 AM   #7
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Let's not forget blueberry pancakes.
Fresh blueberries are kinda hit or miss on the flavor. A lot depends on the environmental factors i.e rainfall and such. We have several blueberry bushes (well I reckon they are still bushes. They are taller than I am - over 6 feet.)
This year we had a late frost which hurt our harvest and the rainfall was spotty at best when they needed it most.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #8
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My two little blueberry bushes have fruit that has nice "wild" flavor. Unfortunately, the critters usually get the berries before I do.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:56 PM   #9
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right - or in Muffins

Mad Cook, don't there grow blueberries anywhere in GB? There are a few areas I could imagine...
we are lucky to be in one of Germany's blueberry-areas, so it is easy to get them, but some are better than others, it depends on the farmer - and most likely on the breed (?)..
There are a few commercial blueberry growers but they apparently need acid soils and soil in our fruit growing areas tends to be alkali. You can grow then in the garden where it's easier to control the PH of the soil.

Most of the ones I see in supermarkets are imported south America.

I shall try a few in muffins the next time
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:09 PM   #10
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the best blueberries that i've ever had grow around lakes in a state park in upstate ny near me.

the bushes would grow hanging over the lake, and most of the berries reachable from land were usually picked or eaten by human and other animals passing by. but i would pull my canoe up under the bush, and while my canoe mate would hold on and steady the canoe, i would beat the bush with a paddle, causing loads of berries to drop into the canoe. kinda like the way wild rice is harvested in the upper midwest by native americans.

we'd eat our fill, then load up the rest to take a few quarts home; faces, feet, and canoe all stained purple.

i actually got out of a speeding ticket once on the way home by giving the police officer a quart. he pulled me over probably hoping to get me on a dui charge as well (some of these lakes are big party areas), but when he asked if i had been drinking, i just gave him a big purple smile saying no and offered him the little gems. fortuately, we ditched all of the empty beer cans in the trash before we left for home, lol.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #11
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I've picked wild blueberries. I've eaten commercial blueberries. They're okay. I can't be bothered. There are too many other kinds of berries that taste better.

If you can find them frozen MC, that would probably be your best bet in terms of buying them. They will have been frozen within a short time of harvesting and have lost the least flavour.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:47 PM   #12
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I really love the little wild ones that I grew up with in Maine. Luckily I can get them frozen here, I love them in coffee cake and pancakes

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Old 09-03-2014, 08:14 PM   #13
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What makes the wild blueberries so great along the eastern part of the country is that it is the soil that is just the Allegheny Mountains ground down. They are older than the Rocky Mountains. It is all those minerals contained in the rocks that make the soil perfect.

One year my sister dug up a couple of small baby blueberry bushes from alongside of the road to transplant in her yard. Then they got hit with a hard frost and it killed them. I told her to cover them with plastic bags. But did she listen? Noooo! What do I know. I am only the baby sister. There are tall bushes and short ones close to the ground. The tall bushes have the sweetest berries. Those are the wild ones. Most of the blueberry farms have the short bushes. It saves on labor costs for pruning.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:18 PM   #14
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The wild blueberry bushes I have seen were less than two feet tall. They seem to do well enough through hard Quebec winters with no help.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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The wild ones we used to pick in Canada were really tiny too, and very sweet and delicious. Scrubby little things.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:26 PM   #16
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The wild blueberry bushes I have seen were less than two feet tall. They seem to do well enough through hard Quebec winters with no help.
The bushes that grow in NH and MA tend to be taller. I would imagine the ones in Maine are smaller. Their winter weather is more to that of Canada than the rest of our country.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #17
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MC, if you can't find flavorful fresh ones, look for dried ones in your grocery store. They mix into scone batter nicely and plump up from the moisture in the batter. Just be sure to add a tablespoon or two extra of cream to allow for the plumping.

I love fresh blueberries when they have a good flavor. I just wash them up and pop them into my mouth like M&Ms! The cultivated ones. I've never been able to enjoy the wild Maine berries the way Himself does. I guess I like the ones with a bigger "body". Chubby, just like Himself!



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What makes the wild blueberries so great along the eastern part of the country is that it is the soil that is just the Allegheny Mountains ground down. They are older than the Rocky Mountains....
Addie, you have the wrong "A" mountain range. The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest. Actually, they're among the oldest range on earth. No wonder all those hikers want to tackle the AT!
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:48 PM   #18
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MC, if you can't find flavorful fresh ones, look for dried ones in your grocery store. They mix into scone batter nicely and plump up from the moisture in the batter. Just be sure to add a tablespoon or two extra of cream to allow for the plumping.

I love fresh blueberries when they have a good flavor. I just wash them up and pop them into my mouth like M&Ms! The cultivated ones. I've never been able to enjoy the wild Maine berries the way Himself does. I guess I like the ones with a bigger "body". Chubby, just like Himself!



Addie, you have the wrong "A" mountain range. The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest. Actually, they're among the oldest range on earth. No wonder all those hikers want to tackle the AT!
The Al ones are up here in the northeastern part of the country. It is an old Indian name for the Native American nation. The tribe that my grandfather belonged to was part of that nation. Along with most of the tribes here in MA. The White Mountains in NH are part of them also.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #19
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addie, i don't think everyone knows your indian name "the last of the mohiccups"...
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:42 AM   #20
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They are always, without fail, a disappointment as they taste of absolutely nothing. I can only assume, having read about the American passion for them, that they don't travel well.
MC, I suspect you have fallen victim to BSBS: Boring Supermarket Berry Syndrome.

I find the same thing with most cultivated supermarket berries, including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Flavorless blah. Sometimes you can wake them up with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar, but they're not nearly as good as fresh berries you get from roadside stands or pick-your-own farms.

And the wild berries you sometimes stumble across in the woods... oh yes. Those are scrumdiddlyumptious. I don't know how many times I've run across a bramble while camping (usually while looking for a place to do one's business) and stood there for 20 minutes happily stuffing my face with berries.

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What makes the wild blueberries so great along the eastern part of the country is that it is the soil that is just the Allegheny Mountains ground down. They are older than the Rocky Mountains. It is all those minerals contained in the rocks that make the soil perfect.
Just between you and me, Addie, wild berries seem to do just fine out here in the "flatlands", too.
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