Table of content A-Z

 

blueberry

 

Synonym: garden huckleberry

botanical name: Vaccinium corymbosum


Kulturheidelbeere

 

The blueberry is a separate variety. It was based at the beginning of the 20th century on various types of bilberries or wild blueberries of North America, among them low-growing, climatically hardy plants and tall shrubs that are easy to harvest. The most important role was played by varieties with especially plump berries.

 

The blueberry is grown today in many European countries. In Germany, the country that imports the most, they have also been cultivated since the beginning of the 1930s, above all in the Lüneburg Heath.

 

Availability

Blueberries are harvested in Germany from the middle of July until the middle of September. At the same time blueberries from neighbouring countries, chiefly from the Netherlands, are imported. Berries that are sold during the winter stem mainly from New Zealand, Australia, Chile and South Africa.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Blueberries differ essentially from bilberries in that the former grow on large, sturdy shrubs (up to 2 m tall). This simplifies the harvest considerably. However, they also differ in size. The significantly larger blueberries appear lighter in colour owing to the white 'frost' on the firm skin. The pulp and juice of the blueberry are colourless. Only when the berries are cooked does pigment exude from the skin. The small number of seeds in the blueberry is a pleasure. However, they are much less aromatic than the bilberry.

 

Ingredients

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which belong to the secondary plant substances and are responsible for the blue-to-purple skin.

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Owing to their firm skin, blueberries are easier to transport and keep better than bilberries. Fresh berries will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen without any problem.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Blueberries are popular eaten raw, with cream, yoghurt, milk or curd cheese.

 

The berries must be sorted well before they are eaten. Wash the fruits in a bowl of water; this makes it easy to remove the foreign matter that swims to the top, such as stems.

 

Blueberries are especially well-liked as a cake topping, or baked in, as in blueberry muffins. They are well-suited for making jam and jelly, because they are sweeter than bilberries and their juice jells well. Furthermore, you can make delicious compote or juice from them. Blueberries are also appreciated by the food industry: In addition to the production of blueberry juice, wine or liqueur, they are often found added to yoghurts, breakfast cereals, ice cream and milkshakes.

 

To store them in the refrigerator, it is best to spread them out on a tray and cover them with cling film/plastic wrap. They are also best frozen first on a tray and then packed in freezer bags or containers.

 

Seasoning tip

Sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom taste good with blueberries.

 

 

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