A big mountain of pancakes, a heap of blueberries on top, delicious sticky maple syrup on top and you can imagine yourself in a classic American diner. But of course, you don't have to go to the land of the brave to enjoy all that deliciousness the blueberry has to offer. And when it comes to enjoyment, the 'vaccinium' will get you past the checkout twice. It looks beautiful in your garden, but equally so on your plate.
The land of unprecedented opportunities is known for its 'bigger is better' philosophy.
What it is less known for is its healthy lifestyle. Fast food is omnipresent, and you will be bombarded with hamburgers, pizzas and other delicious fatty treats. In recent years there has been a turnaround, but to say that they are evolving into the "healthiest nation in the world" is perhaps a bridge too far. Nevertheless, it is just here, in North America, that the blueberry has its origins. It is only since the middle of last century that we Europeans can enjoy this blue flavored bomb, not so long ago renamed superfood.
You'd almost want to beg an American to let him or her pronounce the Latin name and then turn your cart around with a slight chuckle. All kidding aside, the vaccinium corymbosum or blueberry grows on a bush, where the blue of the berry contrasts nicely with the striking dark green leaves. No 'red, white and blue', just deep green, dark blue with a purple touch and white-pink clusters when in bloom.
Carefree and without too much trouble. The blueberry plant goes through life with a 'no worries' mentality. Our Belgian - often unpredictable - weather conditions? No worries! Night frost? No worries at all! Radiant sunshine? No problem either. The plant doesn't need much to thrive, that is obvious. Still, you can give it some extra TLC or tender loving care by cooling and watering it during the hottest summer days.
To top it off, you can harvest these flavor bombs all summer long, including during Independance Day, one of Americans' most important national holidays, also called "The Fourth of July. Pick the berries when they are ripe and do it berry by berry, not by bunch. And when are they really yummy? You can recognize an edible berry by its deep blue color and the white wax layer on top.
The plant has eternal life. If you take care of it properly, you will enjoy its fruits year after year. It is an indestructible powerhouse that gets its strength from an acidic soil with a pH between 4 and 5 and from the sun.
Blueberries taste sweet and surprise with a slightly acidic touch. A crunchy bite, followed by an explosion of flavors and vitamins. Not only are they full of antioxidants, but they also help reduce cholesterol and improve digestion. And you can eat tons of them because blueberries have hardly any calories. A blueberry milkshake, blueberry pancakes, blueberry jam or blueberries as the ultimate healthy topping on your granola: just describing all those goodies makes my mouth water. Oh my ... goodness, if that isn't a little happy moment.