No rules for blueberries

Posted on 2 min read

Did you know that blueberries grow on shrubs, and there are low-level bushes that produce smaller berries which are then marketed as wild blueberries, and there are high-level bushes that produce larger berries? As a matter of course, growing bigger berries is more commercially justified, especially the ones with the flared crown on top. But there are quite a few other berries that look and taste almost like blueberries: huckleberries, bilberries, whortleberries, … Often they are processed into jam and marketed as ‘blueberry’ for a mere simplicity. This is not a fraud, rather unsophisticated marketing. Lower shrubs are not planted on purpose, but they are watched after and managed nonetheless.

We think of blueberries as a perfect summer treat: they’re easy, delicious and can be turned into a no-fuss meal in a matter of seconds. Think yoghurt mixed with condensed milk and blueberries or a quick porridge with granola topped with berries drizzled with honey. Eating raw unprocessed sweet blueberries is already a true delight. But sometimes we’d want to partake in some manual labour for the benefit of our meal. And why not turn some berries into refreshing ice pops? Just transfer 5 cups of blueberries together with 70 gr / ⅓ cup sugar and 1 cup water into a saucepan. Add some basil stalks and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is softened and dark, then strain and blend everything until smooth. Then pour it into the paper cups or special ice cream molds, place in a freezer and after an hour or so take out, insert a popsicle stick into each cup/mold and put back until completely frozen.

Berries are surely considered to be a sweet treat, but nobody will deny their right to be included into savory dishes. Like salsa. There are no strict recipes for these preparations, just add a little acidity, mix with sweetness and dice some onions. Or something like that. Coarsely chop 2 cups of blueberries and then chop 1 medium onion nicely (take shallot for more mellow flavour). Add 1 minced jalapeno, some minced ginger, a little of torn cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper and dress with olive oil. Eat with corn chips, baked sweet potatoes, on top of pizzas, or as a simple salad.

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