I often remind my daughter – who is still on the petite side – that they don’t make diamonds as big as bricks.
The same holds true for blueberries. You may wonder at the tiny size of the wild variety, but these smaller berries – about the size of a currant – really pack a punch.
While all blueberries are delicious and are considered a superfood, wild ones are just a little more “super.”
Blueberries Are Full of Antioxidants
Whether or not they are cultivated, blueberries are nutritional powerhouses that have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any food. One in particular, anthocyanin, is responsible for their intense blue-purple colour. Anthocyanins are concentrated in the skin of the berry. Regular consumption has been linked not only to cardiovascular health, but also brain and eye health. Keep in mind that a cup of wild blueberries has more “skin” than their larger cultivated cousins.
Our Annual Wild Ontario Blueberry Sale
And we are featuring them now until August 23, in our annual Wild Ontario Blueberry Sale.
“These are coming from the Sudbury area, and the harvest will move around northern Ontario,” said Carmen Trimarchi, president and partner of Vince’s Market. “Picking these berries involves a lot of labour, but it is worth the effort. The flavour is really intense.”
Carmen points out that that wild blueberries, often referred to as “low bush,” are a different variety from cultivated (“high bush”), which are not only larger, but less perishable and can be more easily warehoused and shipped for year-round availability.
He also notes that blueberries can be semi-cultivated; which involves fertilizing the bushes, and occasionally burning them back (thermal pruning). This not only results in healthier plants, but reduces overwintering insects, fungus, and interfering weeds.
Enjoy Right Away or Freeze for Later
Wild blueberries must be used shortly after picking. Or they can be frozen for pies and muffins later in the year. But such quick turnaround isn’t an issue for customers. “Our supplier deals directly with the pickers, and they’re delivered directly from the bush to our stores. That’s as fresh as you’re going to get.”
Be sure to drop by and pick up a container or basket of these tiny, purple gems – while they’re still here. There’s nothing like sprinkling a handful on your cereal, salad or enjoying them on their own.