Scandinavian Blueberry

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Scandinavian Blueberry

Wild blueberries are abundant all over Scandinavia and are gathered in enormous quantities in summer and autumn. The entire drop is picked inn the wild, and they have been a favorite berry for millennia. Read the article and learn more about Scandinavian blueberry.

True wild blueberries are far more delicious than the northern or bog blueberry and their cousin the giant American highbush blueberry. Blueberry keep well, as they contain a natural preservative, and have always been dried in the sun for winter use.

Scandinavian Blueberry
Blueberries grow on acid soil in woodland and heaths and are abundant all over the north. Photo: forksning.no

How it grows

True blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) grow on acid soil in woodland and heaths and are abundant all over the north. The delicious, low bushes with small, bright green leaves are very hard to grow in gardens as the plant lives in symbiosis with a fungus. The northern bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), another small bush with almost round, blue-grey leaves, requires the same conditions and grows all over Scandinavia. Highbush varieties, which are grown commercially, are easy to grow if you have acid, peaty or sandy soil.

Scandinavian Blueberry the article continues below the image.

You might also like to read about Scandinavians and strawberries. Just click the image below.

Scandinavian Blueberry
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Appearance and taste

Wild blueberries are smaller than the cultivated blueberry you buy in the shops, and also darker, appearing to be almost black with a hint of blue; most distinctively, they are dark all the way through, and will color everything a lovely dark purple – your teeth, tabletop, food, pancakes…They are much tastier and more intensely flavored than either northern bilberry or indeed the American blueberry, which is dark purple on the outside but has pale green flesh. But you love what you can get, and commercially grown blueberries are still much better than no blueberries at all.

Scandinavian Blueberry
Highbush blueberries. Photo: Hageland

Buying and storing

Blueberries picked in the wild are a superior thing, so buy them if you are lucky enough to find them, or pick your own, as many Scandinavian families do. They keep their taste well when frozen; in fact, frozen, ripe true blueberries are often the better option if you are going to use them in cakes, smoothies and jam.

As blueberries keep so well, the ones you buy are often picked underripe, and sold when too old; since the taste disappears in time, it’s worth checking that they are not dried out, and never buy if some are mouldy.

Scandinavian Blueberry – the article continues below the image.

You can learn more about Scandinavian berries by clicking the image below.

Scandinavian Blueberry
Click image

Health benefits

Blueberries have become very popular in the past years because of their medicinal qualities. They contain huge amounts of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C, and the color will replenish the color in pale eyes.

Scandinavian Blueberry
American blueberries. Photo: Meny

Culinary uses

The taste of blueberries is rich and refreshing, equally good in savoury dishes and desserts. They make a marvelous jam, and are traditionally served with thin crêpes, or as a filling in pies. They can be raw-sugared like the lingonberries and eaten with game, cold cuts, and any dish in which lingonberries are used. But when you have picked your own, they are usually eaten in huge bowls, simply deliciously with sugar and milk.

Scandinavian Blueberry
Cheese pancakes with blueberries

Curd cheese pancakes with blueberries

You can make the pancakes with a variety of fresh cheeses, including skyr, a fresh, unfermented cheese, much like fresh ricotta, quark or fresh goat’s cheese. They work well with any of these.

200g blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

For the pancake batter
3-4 eggs, depending on size
250g ricotta, quark, skyr or fresh goat’s cheese
50g sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
25g salted butter for frying
50g plain flour

SERVES 4

Warm the blueberries very gently with the sugar until they begin to break open. Cool a little while you make the pancakes.

Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until stiff. Mix all the other pancake ingredients together in a bowl, then gently fold in the whites.

When it comes to frying the pancakes, you’ll need a large, thick-bottomed frying pan. We’re after thick American-style pancakes, so you should fit three in at a time. Fry the pancakes gently in butter, making sure you don’t turn them over until they are properly set underneath; they are loose-textured and will break up if you turn them too soon.

Eat while hot with the warm blueberries.

Scandinavian Blueberry, written by Tor Kjolberg

Feature image (on top): Wikipedia

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