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Wild blueberries are onyx blue in color, and considerably smaller than most conventionally grown blueberries. Though they are inherently less sweet than cultivated blueberries, they still display a pleasant balance of natural acidity and sugar levels. Their skin is thinner and flesh is softer with a succulent melting quality.
Wild blueberries are available during the summer.
Wild blueberries, botanical name Vaccinium angustifolium, are a flowering lowbush blueberry variety. Unlike commercial highbush blueberries, Wild blueberries are not planted, but rather are propagated by underground rhizomes. The sprawling root system, known as runners, spread horizontally under the soil and send up new shoots which mature into new flowering plants.
Wild blueberries have a greater antioxidant capacity than cultivated blueberries. Their darker color is a result of potent amounts of anthocyanin present in both the fruit's skin and flesh, which increases their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wild blueberries may be used interchangeably with conventionally grown varieties, though their small size and tart flavor may require some adjustments in basic recipes. Their skin to pulp ratio is much higher and will therefore release less moisture into batter, dough and other cooked applications. Use in pies, tarts, pancakes, muffins, ice creams, sorbets, and jams. They can also be used in beverages, compotes, purees and gastriques. Complimentary ingredients include cocoa, strawberries, raspberries, lavender, eucalyptus, raisins, honey, peaches, chocolate, herbs such as basil and mint, cloves, cinnamon, cream, butter, fresh cheeses, tea, sweet wines such as muscat and Riesling.
Native Americans used Wild blueberries along with the plant's leaves and roots for medicinal purposes. They were used to treat coughs and their juice was said to be good for the blood. Wild blueberries were also used as a dye for baskets and cloth. Dried blueberries were added to stews, soups and cured meats such as beef jerky.
Wild blueberries are native to North America, with a natural growing region in Northeastern United States and Canada. They are far more cold hardy than their cultivated counterpart, surviving in the wild as far north as Arctic North America. Wild blueberries are hand harvested with comb-like wooden rakes. Their commercial viability as a cash crop is limited to Northeastern United States.
Recipes that include Wild Blueberries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Abbey's Kitchen||Wild Blueberry, Pomegranate and Lemonade Paletas|
|Real Food Real Deals||Wild Blueberry Lemon Custard|
|Cucina Panzano||Wild Blueberry Cobbler|