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When is Blueberry not a Blueberry?

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

When it’s a Bilberry of course! Confused? Let me explain.

Blueberries and Bilberries are similar enough to be of the same Genus, Vaccinium.

Bilberries (V. Myrtillus) tend to grow wild as a low-lying grass like plant, whilst Blueberries (V. Corymbosum/Angustifolium) are generally cultivated for mass markets and grow on small bushes. Blueberries are from all over the world, esp USA, whereas Bilberries are more European and particularly Scandinavian – where they are called Wild Blueberries just to confuse us even more! Still confused? – well if you handle bilberries or eat them fresh you will get blue hands and a blue mouth.

Bilberries are also called Whortleberries in some parts of Europe and Blaeberries in Scotland – that might be just the accent 😊.

Bilberries are blue right through, whereas cultivated Blueberries you buy fresh from a supermarket are lighter inside or even white under the skin. Whilst both types of berries are extremely healthy – especially if you choose organic varieties, the Bilberries (or Scandinavian Wild Blueberries) have the upper hand on antioxidant levels including polyphenols and anthrocyanins by approx. 4:1. (Source ) Generally, the bluer the fruit the higher the anthrocyanin level and the greater the health benefit – the science shows this indisputably.

Please contact me for the best sources of these products, year round.

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