Unlike highbush hybridized blueberries planted and grown on farms all over the world, lowbush wild blueberries are unique in our modern food system. They are a truly wild fruit that is not planted. They spread naturally through a complex underground root system in the rugged forests, fields, and barrens of Maine, Eastern Canada, and Quebec where they’ve grown for thousands of years, Collins says.
“Looking back thousands of years ago, when humans were hunters and gatherers, we were picking berries,” he says. “Wild blueberries harken back to those days. They are the same hearty berries that our ancestors enjoyed and that our childrens’ children will enjoy long after we’re gone. They are one of the very few unchanged and easily accessible wild fruits left on our earth just as mother nature intended.
This authenticity fits in perfectly with the real food movement and provides restaurants with a flexible ingredient that can draw customers into its menu. And because they have a more deliciously complex flavor profile than their hybridized cousin, the berries can be used in a variety of ways from savory to sweet, from appetizer to dessert. They are smaller in size and more varied than the larger cultivated blueberries, but this means they pack a stronger flavor and restaurants can use fewer of them and still achieve a bold blueberry taste.