Tag Archives: blueberries

Maine stuff in my California apartment No. 11 — wild blueberries, moose and lobster

These dish towels, about 16 inches by 24 ½ inches, are decorated with the image of one of Maine’s most iconic images, wild blueberries. I received these as a gift from my family years ago. Photo by Keith Michaud

These dish towels, about 16 inches by 24 ½ inches, are decorated with the image of one of Maine’s most iconic images, wild blueberries. I received these as a gift from my family years ago. Photo by Keith Michaud

I have not added an installment of this feature for quite some time. That does not mean that I have run out of Maine stuff in my California apartment; it just means I have been distracted by other things.

But I wanted to add this entry before we moved too far beyond the blueberry season, which probably ended about a month or so ago.

Beginning years ago and over the course of several Christmas seasons, my family sent along to me several aprons, oven mitts, and dish towels printed with reminders of Maine. Several, of course, were printed with the famed Maine wild blueberry.

Blueberries are as much a symbol of Maine as are lobster, moose, L.L. Bean, and Patrick Dempsey. (Yes, Dr. McDreamy grew up in Maine and regularly returns to help raise funds for a cancer center in Central Maine.)

It may still be the case – I’m not sure – but once Maine wild blueberries accounted for very nearly all wild blueberries. And by “all,” I mean the entire world’s annual harvest.

So blueberries are something we Mainers, whether living in our homeland or “from away,” discuss with a certain amount of pride.

Here is a closer look at the image on the dish towels. They look nearly good enough to eat. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here is a closer look at the image on the dish towels. They look nearly good enough to eat. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is one of two oven mitts decorated with wild blueberries that I received from family over the years. There’s a matching mitt … somewhere in my apartment. I’m not exactly sure where it is. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is one of two oven mitts decorated with wild blueberries that I received from family over the years. There’s a matching mitt … somewhere in my apartment. I’m not exactly sure where it is. Photo by Keith Michaud

An apron decorated with wild blueberries also was among the gifts over the years. Photo by Keith Michaud

An apron decorated with wild blueberries also was among the gifts over the years. Photo by Keith Michaud

Today’s photos include the apron, dish towels and an oven mitt on which Maine blueberries are printed. For full disclosure, the dish towels never have been used as dish towels, simply as ornamental accents in my apartment’s kitchen. And the lone – and rather well used – mitt has a mate, but I cannot seem to find it. I know it is here somewhere, but I’m just not sure where.

By the way, I do have two other aprons on which Maine symbols – on one, lobster, and on the other, moose – are printed.

Wild blueberries are not the only iconic Maine images. Moose are big in Maine, not just in size but in state image value. Here’s an apron decorated with the tall antlered creature. Photo by Keith Michaud

Wild blueberries are not the only iconic Maine images. Moose are big in Maine, not just in size but in state image value. Here’s an apron decorated with the tall antlered creature. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the moose apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the moose apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Among the most familiar icons of Maine, of course, is the lobster. And what kind of family would I have if they had not mailed to me an apron decorated with lobster. Photo by Keith Michaud

Among the most familiar icons of Maine, of course, is the lobster. And what kind of family would I have if they had not mailed to me an apron decorated with lobster. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the lobster apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

Here’s a closer look at the images on the lobster apron. Photo by Keith Michaud

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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A batch of blues ready for picking | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

A batch of blues ready for picking | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME

Here’s a website offering locations for picking your own produce in Maine: www.pickyourown.org/ME.htm

Information about Steep Hill Farm is available at www.maineblueberryfarm.com/

Blueberries on the balcony

If you look closely, you'll see a few blueberries on the bushes on my balcony. A touch of Maine in California.

A little more than a year or so ago I bought a couple of Southern Highbush Blueberry bushes and put them on my balcony for a touch of Maine in California.

And now some of the berries are starting to come out.

According to the instructions card that came with the bushes, they are a fairly new hybrid specifically for southern climates that “does triple duty with fruit, flowers, and foliage. Yields bountiful crops in sun or part shade. Self pollinating.”

I’m hoping that I won’t kill these bushes. I’d like a few blueberries.

I love these tiny blue nuggets of gold.

With only two bushes, I seriously doubt I'll harvest much more than a handful, but it will be a very tasty handful.

Here's the last of the blueberry photos ... for now.

Frost hits Maine’s berry and apple crops | Bangor Daily News

Frost hits Maine’s berry and apple crops | Bangor Daily News

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Maine’s official dessert? | Bangor Daily News

[Just a quick note on this somewhat funny story in the Bangor Daily News. The high school mentioned in the third paragraph is the one I attended years ago. (Class of 1980) Go Hornets!! And the teacher, Sarah Brooks, is a longtime local educator and I believe she still owns horse stables in Nashville Plantation, just south of Portage, Maine. And for full disclosure, I thoroughly enjoy whoopie pies and blueberry pie equally, so I’d be interested in a compromise. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the story and there is a recipe for whoopie pies in the story. I pasted the recipe below in the event you are not interested and going to the story. Enjoy! Or not! It’s your choice. – KM]

A lover if whoopie pies

campaigns for state action

Amos Orcutt is so passionate about whoopie pies he’s taking it to the governor. Well, not quite yet — but eventually. Orcutt earlier this year filed the paperwork for a bill to recognize the chocolate and cream confection as Maine’s state dessert.

 “It’s a sense of pride for Mainers. We need to promote products from Maine and focus on those little niches that we have,” said Orcutt, president of the University of Maine Foundation. “We have all these great foods and products that come out of Maine, and they’re part of what makes us unique. Whoopie pies are definitely one of those things.”

Orcutt recently enlisted the help of a group of Ashland High School students, led by teacher Sarah Brooks, to support his measure in last weekend’s mock legislation session in Augusta. Part of the Maine Youth in Government program, the students from Ashland traveled to the Capitol to debate with fellow students from around the state several items — including the whoopie pie bill.

Click on the link for the rest of this story by Emily Burnham in the Bangor Daily News.

 Sandy Oliver’s Whoopie Pie

Makes about 14 to 16 3-inch whoopie pies This whoopie pie recipe ran April 14, 2007, in the Bangor Daily News.

 2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup milk

 Preheat oven to 375 F. Sift together dry ingredients. Cream together shortening and sugar, beat in the egg and vanilla, then add the dry ingredients and milk alternately. You will have a fairly stiff cake batter. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving room for them to spread somewhat. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing them to a rack.

 Whoopie Pie Filling

 2 egg whites

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

 Beat the egg whites until they are fluffy, gradually adding 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Then spoonful by spoonful add the shortening and the rest of the sugar to the egg white mixture until it is smooth and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, make pairs of similarly sized ones and spread the filling on one half and top with the other half. Wrap in plastic wrap or put into an airtight container.

My family is trying to make me fat this Christmas

The Mom and The Sis have joined in a conspiracy, I fear, to make me fat.

Or, at least, pleasantly plump.

Two men dressed in UPS brown – two co-conspirators, although I believe unwitting co-conspirators – arrived at my doorstep early Tuesday evening with a package that The Sis had told me to expect. The storms back East had convinced me that the package would arrive later rather than sooner, but Big Brown came through during the holiday rush.

I signed on the glowing line – everything is electronic now, you know – and received the holiday package.

And, of course, I placed it under the hugely beautiful ornamented Christmas tree in the corner of my apartment living room, where it will wait until Christmas morning to be opened. …

OK, so I didn’t bother to unpack my Christmas ornaments or get a Christmas tree this year. I have a camera tripod in the corner of my living room. I suppose I could string some Christmas lights on it and hook a few ornaments on the knobs and paste a star or angel on the mounting bolt. Then I’d be good to go for Christmas. Or not. It just seemed like a lot of work for one person.

And if I fibbed about having a “hugely beautiful ornamented Christmas tree in the corner of my apartment living room,” you can guess that I also fibbed about placing the package anywhere … except on my dining room table so I could open it.

Now, Christmas purists will say “Christmas morning is when you open Christmas presents, not on Christmas Eve and certainly – CERTAINLY – not on Christmas Eve Eve Eve.” (Enough eves? One, two, three, yep.)

But technically – and I think this would stand up in a Christmas tribunal should one be called – I was simply opening the outer package. It is not my fault that Zeb’s General Store in North Conway, N.H., where The Sis and The Mom very likely purchased the wonderful treats within, did not take yards and yards of decorated parchment to carefully wrap each individual item and tie each with ribbon with surgical care. (Frankly, Zeb’s is a really, really cool place and I very much want to visit it again the next time I vacation in Maine. It’s a very New England town and a very New England general store … that caters to tourists, but it is still very, very cool.)

So, I immediately opened the outer box, dug my way through the form peanuts – the guy who invented those things should be hung by his toes in the public square before being made to go from home to home to home on Christmas afternoon to clean up those dastardly things – and found the treasures inside.

What follows is a partial list of the wonderful tastes of Maine and New England that The Mom and The Sis bestowed upon me this holiday season. (Note: I had planned to include photos of some of the treats, but ran to a couple of technical difficulties. I hope to update with photos within a couple of days.)

And here is the evidence I have for believing in the conspiracy to make me fat. Everything in the package – except the stoneware mugs in the shape of moose head – were jammed with sugar and other things that are likely to make my waist bigger.

But this is the holiday season and it is perfectly – PERFECTLY – OK to indulge, and I can do things the rest of the year to counterbalance the evil that is blueberry syrup.

Beautiful blueberry breakfast

OK, blueberry syrup is not in any way evil. It is quite the opposite and nothing short of wonderful.

This time around, it was a bottle of Pemberton’s Gourmet Food Mountain Mornings Breakfast Syrup made of Maine wild blueberries. Yeah, that’s right, syrup made of wild blueberries. And it is all mine, mine, mine!

OK, sorry, got a little carried away. Pemberton’s is located in Gray, Maine, according to the label, and the syrup contains Maine wild blueberries, sugar, honey, lemon juice, spices and pectinase. I haven’t opened or tasted it, but I’m pretty sure I will enjoy it and mourn once the bottle is empty. Here is Pemberton’s website: www.pembertonsgourmet.com .

While we’re on syrup, they threw in a bottle of Brown Family Farm Pure England Maple Syrup. The business is based in Battlebore, VT. Vermont is not Maine, but it’ll do.

The bottle came with a card listing Top 10 Maple Tips:

  • Add a light flavor to apple pie. (Hmm, that has to be good!)
  • Drizzle on a turkey wrap. (Gotta try this.)
  • Mix with salad dressing. (I’ll try anything at least once.)
  • Add to yogurt or vanilla ice cream. (Done this and it is very good.)
  • Add splash while cooking to sausage or bacon. (Nothin’ lovin’ quite like maple bacon or sausage.)
  • Baked beans are always better with a bit of maple syrup. (Yes, it is.)
  • It works with sweet potatoes and carrots, too. (I’ve done sweet potatoes and carrots with brown sugar, but I bet maple sugar would be good, too.)
  • Blend with Dijon mustard to marinate salmon. (Oh, yeah!)
  • Mix with butter and glaze baked squash. (Hmm!)
  • Add to fresh berries and cream. (I’ve done this, too, and it is great.)

Brown Family Farm has more tips; go to http://www.brownfamilyfarmmaple.com/ for more info.

If you’ve got all that syrup, you’re gonna need something on which to pour it – beside the things listed above. Why not go with The New England Cupboard Blueberry Pancake Mix, made with Maine wild blueberries. It claims to provide “old-fashion flavor with modern convenience.”

The label on the package – mix ingredients include unbleached wheat flour, blueberries canned in water, sugar, nonaluminum baking powder, salt and cinnamon – promises 16 to 18 4-inch pancakes. This very likely is Christmas breakfast, but not 16 to 18 pancakes.

The New England Cupboard website is http://www.newenglandcupboard.com/ .

Heating up lunch or dinner

I like sweet, but I love hot and spicy. My family knows this.

So, it is not unusual for me to receive something from Captain Mowatt’s line of very fine hot sauces. How could you not like products from a company that puts on its bottles: “Burning the planet one tongue at a time.”

I am most partial to Captain Mowatt’s Canceaux Sauce, but I also love Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame. As the label says: “Blue Flame is the ultimate, salacious rendezvous. Wild native Maine blueberries coupled with fiery nubile red chilies. It’s passionate … it’s hot … it’s sweet … it’s blissful.”

W.O. Hesperus Co. makes the stuff in Portland, Maine, and go to http://www.wohesperus.com/ for more info.

The second sauce I’m holding as evidence that my family is not just trying to make me fat, but also may be trying to kill me … from the inside out. Anything called mad Dog 357 Pure Ghost Sauce should be handled with asbestos gloves and in full firefighting turnout gear!

Frankly, the distributer – Ashley Food Co. of Sudbury, MA, at http://www.ashleyfood.com/ – seems a tiny bit delinquent in its labeling. The only warning on the label reads: “This sauce is very hot. Use it at your own risk.”

And while that seems mild, what makes an experienced hot sauce enthusiast take pause are two – not one, but two – warnings “World’s hottest peppers.”

OK, there is one other subtle warning: “Carefully crafted with the world’s hottest pepper, the Ghost Pepper, aka Bhut Jolokia, this sauce delivers hauntingly pure heat with a killer sting only a ghost can deliver.” I know this is gonna hurt!

Something else very, very sweet

I’m not the kind of guy to say that if something is good, make it great by pouring chocolate all over it. Chocolate is great by itself, especially with a nice glass of red wine.

There are some things, however, that do take on a different complexity when milk chocolate is poured over ’em.

Wild blueberries are perfect – yes, perfect – directly from the bush. Or with some cream. Or in muffins. Or pancakes. Or … Well, you get the point.

But chocolate covered blueberries are a different level of perfect. In the package was a packet of Bangor Blues Milk Chocolate Covered Blueberries. I won’t get into the nutritional facts from the label, because it isn’t about nutrition when you’re eating this – it’s about savoring a bit of heaven … with the Aurora Borealis thrown in for color.

You should be able to get more information about Bangor Blues at http://www.bangorblues.com/ .

DownEast Coffee Munch, at least in its name, has everything I need. It has reference to Mother Maine, it has coffee and it has munch. DownEast Coffee Munch is a brand of chocolate covered Maine roasted espresso beans, and mighty tasty, I might add.

The tasty, caffeine-laced snack is made by Gladstone’s Under the Sun based in Bar Harbor, Maine, not far from Acadia National Park. Let’s see – Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and DownEast Coffee Munch. That would be three very good reasons for anyone to hit the midcoast region.

Check out Gladstone’s website at http://www.mainemunchies.com/ .

Nothing says New England quite like Maine Saltwater Taffy. The Mom and The Sis included a larger-than-necessary box of Maine Saltwater Taffy. I’m sucking on some just now. Hmm, a mellow, sticky sweetness. Suck on it, don’t chew or you’re libel to pull out a filling or two … or even a tooth. It’s sticky.

Again, let’s not talk ingredients, shall we. Just know that it is worth it from time to time to partake of Maine’s Saltwater Taffy.

The brand The Mom and The Sis picked up was manufactured by Cabot’s Candy of Cape Cod out of Provincetown, MA, and you can get more info at http://www.cabotscandy.com/ .

Spice of life

Two things: I love sea salt; and I love that some seasoning jars now come with their own grinders. (Disclaimer: I immediately see a recycling problem because of the extra material used to create the grinder part of the jars, but jars seem to be reusable – and should be reused whenever possible – so it is just a matter of adding sea salt, pepper corns or whatever.)

In the package was Maine Sea Salt from the Maine Sea Salt Co. out of Marshfield, Maine. More info can be found at http://www.maineseasalt.com/ .

The Mom and The Sis a year or so ago sent me a jar of sea salt. Let’s just say, great stuff, that sea salt.

For my hot beverages

The Sis likes to send me stoneware. Over the years she has sent me some lovely bowls, pots and cups.

There has been a theme the past couple of years, however, that includes big floppy ears, a hug snout and an expansive aerial. One year it was a chili bowl – with a moose on the side – and another year it was a syrup pitcher – again, with a moose on the side.

This year, two mugs with a slightly goofy-looking moose on each. They are great!

They were designed by Richard Adam Dabrowski of Kennebunkport, Maine (Yep, summer home of the Bush family), and they come from Birchstone Studio in Fryeburg, Maine. Its website is listed as http://www.birchstonestudios.com/ .

Each of the mugs came with a note, including: “The mug of the moose mug you hold is loved by his mother were the truth to be told.”

It also includes “a word about the moose”:

  • The name moose comes from the Algonquin Indian language.
  • Moose stand about 7 feet tall as the shoulders, measure 10 feet from the nose to tail, weigh 1,500 pounds with 75-pound antlers, which are at times 5 feet wide.
  • Moose can run at about 35 mph.
  • Moose eat twigs, leaves, ferns, pond weeds and other vegetation.
  • Bull moose grows a new set of antlers each year.
  • Males frequently battle other males for females.
  • Males are in rut from September to mid-December and will stop eating while searching for a mate.

The information does not indicate – and it probably should – that moose can do great damage to vehicles when struck. Oh, and to the occupants of the vehicles, too.

Fun and games

I nearly forgot!

Also included in the package were three ol’ style games. Two of them were travel size dice games, one called Parlor Football Game and the other was called Game of Golf, both from a manufacture called Channel Craft. You can find out more at http://www.channelcraft.com/ . I have been playing golf for the past 40 years and I do enjoy a good football game, so I should have fun playing the games.

Also included was a deck of playing cards and a cribbage board. I haven’t played cribbage in the past 20 years or longer. I’ll have to go online to refresh my memory about the rules, but it’ll be worth it. It will be great to relearn the game.

I also like the board; it has a moose etched at one end.

I’m going to enjoy all the treasures delivered by the men in brown. But I still think my family is trying to make me fat!

Or, at least pleasantly, pleasantly plump.

Big – or not so big – debate: Blueberries vs. strawberries

It may be a tossup for me which are the best – wild strawberries or wild blueberries.

Trust me, I could eat a vat of either plain.

Then there are the options. Strawberries and cream vs. blueberries and cream. Strawberries on pancakes vs. blueberry pancakes. Strawberry pie vs. blueberry tart.

And don’t even get me started on strawberry cheesecake vs. blueberry cheesecake. That would get me going like a pup chasing its tail.

But you get the point. It’s all good to me when it comes to strawberries or blueberries.

I recall as a child clambering out of my house overlooking Portage Lake, Maine, and running to the wild hayfield just beyond our backyard. There, scattered by the berry gods, were tiny wild strawberries growing on tiny stems among the hay stalks.

My sister and childhood friends would take various containers – usually cleaned plastic Cool Whip containers – and crawl through the wild hay to puck the tiny wild strawberries from their little stems. We would pick until the containers were full or we were, since often we ate as much as we put in the containers to be used later for strawberry shortcake or in the morning to top pancakes.

A horse trail used by the local stable ran along the back of the wild field at the edge of the forest and there were times we would sit in the field munching on the sun-sweetened fruit and staining our fingers red as the horses plodded by and butterflies fluttered here and there.

Portage Lake is a bit north for blueberry growth or we most likely would be filling those Cool Whip containers with those tiny blue spheres of heaven. (I hate it – hate, hate, HATE it – when people say something is a “tiny bit of heaven,” but in the case of strawberries and blueberries – especially WILD strawberries and WILD blueberries – it is the case.)

Cultivated strawberries and frozen blueberries are poor substitutes that I must suffer now that I am “from away.”

Of course, wild strawberries and wild blueberries are not the only foods I miss being from away. Lobster, of course, tops the list. I miss the chance to have lobster on a distinctly more regular basis than I do now. Sometimes boiled or steamed over an open fire on the beach or on the stovetop or barbecued on the grill on the patio or deck, drowned in melted butter and accompanied by steamers, corn on the cob and beer. Now that’s eatin’.

Fiddleheads, cabbage rolls, and fresh maple syrup are among the foods I miss being “from away.”

One of my fondest memories as a youngster comes from stopping on the way to my Uncle Clayton’s home just outside Fort Kent at Rock’s Motel and Diner, for some griddle-cooked hot dogs. My parents loved ’em. I loved ’em. I remember entering the tiny diner – the place always seemed to be crowded with hardworking woodsmen and farmers taking a break from their toil – and being hoisted onto one of the red vinyl stools to have one of Rock’s dogs. Or two. And onion rings, as I recall.

Today, familiar flavors from Maine are limited to canned sardines – several Maine and New Brunswick brands can be found in stores here in California.

And Christmas food baskets from home: Captain Mowatt’s Canceaux Sauce and assorted chocolate-covered blueberries, blueberry salsas, baked beans, and beer bread come from my sister, who lives on the right side of the border with New Hampshire, and my mother who still lives in the tiny town where I grew up, Portage, about a three hours drive north of Bangor.

And thank God that BevMo and other West Coast stores carry products from Sea Dog Brewing Co., Shipyard Brewing Co. and Allagash Brewing Co. How could a Maine boy get by without a brew from time to time that reminds him of home?

California is American’s bread basket – and fruit, vegetable, nuts, dairy and beef baskets, too. The climate and rich soil of the Central Valley make it prime for growing most things with relative ease. (Farmers, I know, there is nothing easy about farming. I did write relative ease.) The growing seasons in California are long and bright and sunny. Finding and keeping enough water to irrigate the fields is a continual and growing problem for California farmers.

And while blueberries do come from the Northwest, there are not the same as good, ol’ Maine wild blueberries.

And try to explain fiddleheads – or cabbage rolls or ploye [buckwheat and whole wheat pancakes introduced by French-Canadians to the Saint John River Valley] – to anyone who has not tramped through Maine woods to track the curly delight is like trying to explain baseball to a Mongolian sheep herder.

Two fun recipes

OK, enough of all that, because it is making me hungry. I have two very minor recipes involving blueberries, one for kiddies and one for adults. Don’t mix ’em up.

Purple Monster Oatmeal

½ cup Quaker Oats

¾ cup water

Handful of frozen blueberries (I know, I know, if you’ve got access to fresh blueberries, use them.)

Pinch of salt

Combine the water, blueberries and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the oatmeal, reduce heat and cook for a minute. The juice from the blueberries will turn the oatmeal purpleish and should trick, er, entertain children into eating up all their oatmeal. That combines the positive aspects of oatmeal with the very positive aspects of blueberries in a colorful, fun dish.

OK, that was the recipe for kiddies … for all ages. Here’s the blueberry recipe for adults.

Blueberry Vodka

Citrus vodka (Oh, who am I kidding? Use whatever flavor of vodka you enjoy … in moderation.)

Frozen blueberries. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, use fresh if you’ve got ’em. But using frozen means the need for less ice and more room for vodka.) Put about an inch – or more, if you’d like – in the bottom of the glass.

Pour the vodka over the berries. Add cracked ice if you want it even colder, say for a summer drink.

See? Pretty minor recipes by any standards. But I’m guaranteeing that if children do not enjoy Purple Monster Oatmeal, they are bound to turn into very unhappy adults who won’t enjoy Blueberry Vodka. And, let’s be perfectly honest, we need more people who enjoy Purple Monster Oatmeal and Blueberry Vodka.

Fun blueberry facts

I did not find fun facts about strawberries, because, well, I didn’t look for them. The world of late has been pretty excited about blueberries. Here is what I found on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension website.

  • There are 60,000 acres of wild blueberries growing in the southwest portion of the state.
  • American Indians were the first to use fresh and dried blueberries for flavor, nutrition and healing qualities.
  • Blueberries were not harvested commercially until the 1840s.
  • The direct and indirect impact on Maine’s economy was $250 million.
  • Maine is the largest producer of wild blueberries in the world and produces 15 percent of all blueberries in North America, both wild and cultivated
  • Just 1 percent of the wild blueberry crop is sold fresh; the remaining is frozen and most is used as an ingredient.
  • Lowbush blueberries are harvested by hand raking or by mechanical harvester in late July or early August when most of the berries are ripe.

Wild blueberries are good for you

The biggest thing about blueberries everyone is learning about is their antioxidant properties. I say, if they taste good they must be good for ya. But here is what the website had on that.

“Wild blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity per serving, compared with more than 20 other fruits. Using a lab testing procedure called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), USDA researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D., found that a one-cup serving of wild blueberries had more total antioxidant capacity (TAC) than a serving of cranberries, strawberries, plums, raspberries and even cultivated blueberries. Antioxidants help our bodies protect against disease and age-related health risks by canceling free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules associated with cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. Potent antioxidants are highly concentrated in the deep-blue pigments of wild blueberries that neutralize free radicals and help prevent cell damage. Antioxidants also protect against inflammation, thought to be a leading factor in brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of aging. The potent antioxidants found in wild blueberries include other phytonutrients such as flavonoids and other phenolics such as anthocyanins; wild blueberries were higher in anthocyanin content than other tested fruits and vegetables.”

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