Most of the blueberries you’ll see at the store are highbush blueberries, so named because they grow on high bushes, around six feet tall or more. But they’re only one of the three main types of blueberry plants.
The second are lowbush blueberries, which, in the U.S., are found in the Northeast. These berries are smaller, but they pack a bigger flavor punch. They grow low to the ground and look more like creeping groundcover than bushes. In fact, when harvested by hand, a special metal rake can be used to scoop them up.
The third type, rabbiteye blueberries, can be found primarily in southeastern states. These blueberries aren’t named for the appearance of the plant, but rather for the berry itself. Before the berries are fully ripe, their blossom end resembles a rabbit’s eye.
How to Select and Store
Look for the bluest blueberries you can get your hands on. If you pick up a paper container with a purple-splotched stained bottom, however, select a different one. Those berries are likely too ripe.
Blueberries should be stored in the refrigerator and used pretty quickly. It seems to go against everything you’ve heard, but to keep your berries fresh for longer, wash them in a diluted vinegar bath before you’re ready to eat them, or opt for specially designed produce sheets.
Blueberries also freeze really well, and you’ll thank yourself for your forethought when you’re enjoying a taste of summer six months from now. If you’ll be using your frozen blueberries in baked goods, give them a quick toss in a little flour before adding them to your batter to prevent color bleeding.
Sprinkle bowls of cereal or oatmeal with a smattering of blueberries. Turn blueberries into jam for toast or sauce for crêpes. Blueberries always make a welcome addition to muffins, pancakes, and waffles. Or try something new, and start your day with breakfast polenta, chia seed pudding, or a smoothie.
Dessert & More
Blueberries want to be in your baked goods — all of your baked goods. In a pandowdy, a pie, or a cobbler. Try blueberries in ice cream or paired with burrata, and end the day with a blueberry- infused beverage.