How to Buy Blueberries

How to choose the best blueberries. Choosing the best blueberries means they will taste better and last longer.

Blueberries are available year round, in many formats, like fresh and frozen. Native to North America, their harvest runs from April to September. California blueberries are harvested from April through June and is home to over 9,000 acres of blueberries. But if you know, you know.

And that is that peak blueberry season is everything. Those late spring, early summer blues are perfection. Do yourself a favor and get local blueberries during this time. Honestly, you haven’t had a blueberry until you’ve had these.

But blueberries are like pizza. It takes a lot to get a bad one. Even crappy pizza is still pretty good pizza.

So how do you buy good ones?

How to Choose Blueberries

Choose blueberries that are even in size and also have an even deep purple to nearly black color. The whitish coating, called the bloom, is completely normal. The berries should be plump and firm. Avoid reddish berries as they are not yet ripe.

Containers with berry stains indicated bruised or over ripe fruit. Avoid those too.

Bloom

The whitish color surrounding fresh berries can be a bit off-putting, but it is completely natural. It is actually a sign of freshness. As time goes on, this natural protection fades away.

Size

Size isn’t always a good indicator. Um, I am talking about blueberries here, you prev! While smaller ones can be more tart and larger ones can be sweeter, varietal and other factors can come into play. Look for consistency within the same container. That is key.

Color

While you may want Pink Berry, you never want pink berries, well, pink blueberries. Reddish berries means they were harvested too early. That affects both flavor and sweetness.

Skin

Berries should be plump and firm. Any with wrinkled skin are past their prime. If you have berries that become wrinkled and there are no signs of mold, toss’ em in a smoothie. Don’t buy blueberries this way.

How to Store Berries

Soak blueberries in 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water for 15 minutes. Strain and let dry completely. Store in a covered container lined with a paper towel and they should last up to a few weeks. Then just wash before eating.

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