The early American
colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk.
The blue paint used
to paint woodwork in Shaker houses was made from sage blossoms, indigo
and blueberry skins, mixed in milk.
If all the blueberries
grown in North America in one year were spread out in a single layer, they
would cover a four-lane highway that stretched from New York to Chicago.
(The Great Food Almanac)
Blueberries and huckleberries
although related, are not the same. One obvious difference is that
the blueberry has many soft, tiny almost unnoticeable seeds, while the
huckleberry has ten larger, hard seeds. Blueberries are also more blue,
while huckleberries are blackish blue or redish black. This red/black
variety is also called southern cranberry.
Blueberries have been
commercially cultivated only since the early 20th century.
significant quantities of both antibacterial and antiviral compounds, and
have a reputation in northern Europe of fighting infections. They
may also help protect against heart disease.
The blueberry muffin
is the official muffin of Minnesota.
The blueberry is the
official berry of Nova Scotia.
Maine produces about
25% of all the blueberries grown in North America (1998, wild and
cultivated combined) and is the largest producer of wild blueberries in
the world. Wild blueberries are grown on 60,000 acres in Maine, and
99% of this wild blueberry crop is frozen.
Fresh blueberries are
best when they are plump and firm. They are fully ripe when marketed and
will not be "riper" when allowed to stand. Cool blueberries in refrigerator,
where they will last in excellent condition for up to 10 days. Blueberries
freeze easily. Do not wash before freezing. Correctly frozen berries
pour freely from the container. If washed, the berries will freeze
together in a solid lump and become mushy upon thawing.