Round and smooth-skinned, these blue-black berries are juicy and sweet. There are two main types of blueberries (often confused with huckleberries). The high-bush variety can grow up to 15 feet in height; the hardy low-bush blueberry plants are only about 1 foot high and thrive in Canada and the northern United States. Cultivated blueberries comprise the majority of those that reach the market and the season can span from the end of May to early October. Large New Zealand blueberries are in markets in the winter at a premium price. Choose blueberries that are firm, uniform in size and indigo blue with a silvery frost. Discard shriveled or moldy berries. Do not wash until ready to use, and store (preferably in a single layer) in a moistureproof container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use blueberries in baked goods, jams, pies, pancakes, salads or, best of all, with a simple splash of sweet cream.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.