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Fun Facts about blueberries? Boring. Blueberry facts? Better…. But how about the most obscure, weird and awesome blueberry facts that you’ve ever heard, scrounged from fruit experts and all the questionable corners of the web? Now that sounds more like it!
1) When Lewis and Clark ventured into the Northwest, they found that Native Americans would smoke their blueberries to preserve them for winter. Delicious.
“Lewis and Clark, while on an expedition found that Indians smoked Wild Blueberries to preserve them for winter use. A meal served to them by the Indians had Wild Blueberries pounded into the meat — which was then smoked and dried.”
2) There are over 50 varieties of blueberries, including Spartan, Herbert, and Patriot. Interestingly, there are five major varieties of blueberry grown in the United States: lowbush, northern highbush, southern highbush, rabbiteye and half-high. Of these, northern highbush blueberry varieties are the most common types of blueberries cultivated throughout the world.
There’s also probably someone out there who can identify them all by sight. We like to think so at least.
3) Blåbær is Norwegian for blueberry. Now you know.
4) The Blueberry belongs to the genus Vaccinium along with huckleberries and cranberries. This is not to be confused with the WORD vaccinum, meaning “of or pertaining to cows”.
“Vaccinium is a common and widespread genus of shrubs or dwarf shrubs in the heath family (Ericaceae). The fruits of many species are eaten by humans and some are of commercial importance, including the cranberry, blueberry, bilberry (whortleberry), lingonberry (cowberry), and huckleberry. Like many other ericaceous plants, they are generally restricted to acidic soils.”
5) There is a Blueberry Council in the U.S. Their website is lovely and includes wonderful recipes, including Blueberry Cookies ‘n Cream Milkshakes.
“With just 5 ingredients, you’re sipping this tangy, rich, chocolatey, crunchy, purple-y goodness in no time. Beat heavy cream in a bowl with hand mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Place chocolate sandwich cookies into a plastic bag and crush until crumbled. Set aside. Place the vanilla ice cream, milk and blueberries into a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and has a pourable, yet thick consistency. Pour into a tall glass and add a dollop of whipped cream on top. Garnish with crushed cookies and add a straw.”
6) Okay so not “Blue” berries but still – A legend exists where the blackberry was once beautiful, but was cursed by Lucifer when he fell into the bush when forced out of heaven. Every September 30th, with the ripening and darkening of the berries, he is thought to re-enter them.
Thankfully this is about blueberries, not cursed ones.
7) Blueberries and cranberries are the only commercially produced fruit crops native to North America.
8) The Heaviest Blueberry ever weighed 11.28g (0.4 oz). The blueberry set the Guinness World Record in Lima, Peru on July 19, 2018 and was 1.35 inches in diameter.
In more practical terms, that would be more than the weight of 5 Bee Hummingbirds.
9) Unless this image is lying to us, you can have a Bonsai Blueberry Tree. Er. Shrub.
“The ‘Top Hat’ Blueberry is a cross of a Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) and a Lowbush (Vaccinium angustifolium), two species of blueberry native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and Ontario, south to Alabama, and west to Wisconsin. It is loaded with small white blooms in the spring followed by sweet full size 1/2″ delicious, edible blueberries. It has a harvest season of one month starting in early August. The berries are sky-blue and the light green foliage remains fresh over a very long season.”
“Of all the fruit crops grown in the Northeast, blueberries are perhaps the most amenable to organic production. Pest problems are fewer than with most other fruits, and they preferentially use ammonium nitrogen which is a direct breakdown product of organic nitrogen sources such as manure. Even with these advantages, more research on growing blueberries organically is needed, especially in the area of pest management. This guide attempts to compile the most current information available, but acknowledges that effective means of organic control are not available for some pests. Future revisions to this guide will incorporate new information providing organic growers with a complete set of useful practices to help them achieve success.”
11) Early Colonists made gray paint out of blueberries by boiling them in milk. It was probably easier than rubbing full blueberries on everything to make it all blue like The Smurfs do.
12) Here’s a video of a Black Bear eating Blue Berries. Tasty Alliteration at its finest.
Know a tasty secret about Blueberries that we missed? Share it with us!
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