The blueberry is one of the most popular berries found in the U.S. today.
With North American, European, and Asian origins, this little berry packs a big punch – both flavor-wise and in its myriad of uses!
The Blueberry Bush
Blueberry shrubs typically range from 3.9 inches to up to 13 feet in height. Typically, wild blueberries grow on lower-level bushes towards the ground. These berries are about the size of a pea.
Larger blueberries, like the kind you might find sold by-the-carton in the grocery store, are typically known as “highbush blueberries” and grow on taller bushes.
The leaves of this particular bush are either deciduous or evergreen, depending on the species. Bell-shaped flowers grow in shades of white, pink, and red on these bushes, later producing blueberries that are somewhere between 0.20 and 0.63 inches in diameter.
Blueberries start out a pale green color, then as they ripen move towards red, purple, and then a very dark purple when they’re at their most ripe.
Origins Of The Blueberry
Most blueberries you’ll find today are from North America. These native species are also often grown commercially in places like Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
Varieties Of Blueberry
Because they’ve become quite popular and can be found in different places around the world, there are many different variants of the blueberry. Some include:
- The lowbush blueberry, found in bogs in Nova Scotia and the U.S.
- The northern blueberry, found in Quebec and New England
- The New Jersey Blueberry, found in New Jersey
A Sweet Taste
When they’re ripe and ready to be picked, these dark berries have quite a sweet taste. Some, depending on their size and species, may also have a slightly acidic nature to them. Blueberries are harvested anywhere from May to August depending on their location in the Northern Hemisphere.
Blueberries are eaten raw as a snack, but can also be eaten dried, frozen, or in a variety of dishes.
In fact, many of the dishes that you’re most likely to see blueberries are desserts. And it’s no wonder why; after all, blueberries are an incredibly sweet treat that lend themselves well to being baked into things!
One such dish? The blueberry cobbler. This delicious dessert is perfect either on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Check out this recipe for more.
Blueberries In Folklore
Like many other fruits, blueberries have taken on a life of their own in the folklore and mythologies of certain cultures and religions.
Throughout history, blueberries have been popularly known as a symbol of good health and eternal optimism.
A Laundry List Of Health Benefits
In addition to being a great snack, blueberries are also frequently used for their medicinal capabilities. The fruit is low in calories but high in nutrients, and has been shown to keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels low.
A Healthy And Yummy Fruit
Blueberries certainly pack a whole lot of flavor and sweetness into a small package! With so many health benefits and ways to use the berry in recipes, it’s no wonder that the blueberry is so incredibly popular.