Saturday, July 06, 2013

Wait just a blueberry-pickin' minute

On Friday I went with friend K. to a pick-your-own-blueberry farm not far from us just outside a town called Soings-en-Sologne. This was my first time, but K. is a seasoned pro. She chose a perfect day; the weather was sunny, warm, and dry, and she advised me in advance on what equipment I'd need. We arrived at the farm at around 10:00am and picked for about an hour and a half.

At the farm's entrance you're greeted by this sign. You can't miss it!

Blueberries are called myrtilles in French -- I think they're called bleuets in Québec. We each ended up with close to seven kilos of berries (about 14 lbs.). I didn't realize we had each picked so much. But they freeze well and we'll certainly use them in recipes over the summer. I saved some fresh berries out for eating in the next few days. In fact, today I added blueberries to some yogurt for my dessert. Delicious!

13 comments:

  1. Ah, blueberries, lovely.
    Hopefully this also means they'll be on sale in the shops and markets. I don't often see them in France - in the UK you can always get imported ones. Our own blueberry bush just has a few tiny green berries on it so far.

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  2. NJ blueberries are ripe at this time. do I see blueberry pancakes for breakfast? how about blueberry apple crisp? blueberry jam?

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  3. I had planned on going blueberry picking here this morning. Maybe I'll get there tomorrow. Did you know you can freeze them right away - unwashed - and then wash them when you thaw them? It makes it quick to take care of them after you've picked so many (I have plans to pick about 14 pounds too - since last year's 10 lbs didn't last very long!)

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  4. I bet there's some jam in the making! I have two blueberry bushes with about 10 berries each. So, that'll be fine for a bowl of cereal when they ripen. Right now, we're in the midst of raspberries -- about a kilo a day. Some days we freeze the pickings; some days we put them in the fridge for immediate consumption; some days we give the bowlful away.
    In France, myrtilles used to be only the small kind that grow close to the ground and are traditionally combed off their branches. They are called brinbelles in the Vosges, where we once picked through them along the roadside. What we call blueberries, those big ones, were from Canada and rare until just a few years ago. Now, we can find them in the market, but they still expensive, so they come in 125 or 250g. packages.

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  5. Yummy! One of my favourite fruits and you don't see them that much here. Hopefully that means I'll be able to get them on the market.

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  6. I'm glad you enjoyed your first trip to the blueberry farm.....I see lots of pies on the horizon.

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  7. We love to eat blueberries at breakfast. In common with Jean and Antoinette we rarely find them in France but they are always available in the UK, imported from somewhere or other.

    Are whinberries (bilberries) of the same family? Whinberries were abundant on the hills in Wales, close to where I lived.

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  8. We call our wild blueberries, huckleberries here in Alabama- they are small and grow close to the ground. I put frozen blueberries in my morning cereal and they make the milk ice cold and so good. The blueberries are ripe here in Alabama right now also, I'd go to pick some but we're in the midst of an unusual monsoon here.

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  9. I didn't realize that you could get those fresh, large blueberries in France, and certainly didn't know there would be a pick-your-own farm around! Ours are in the $2.50/pint stage right now-- the rest of the year, it's more like $3.99/pint. Love themmmmm!
    Last night I was watching a French movie on Canal Plus, and liqueur de myrtilles was translated over and over in the subtitles as Myrtle liquor. :)

    Glad you have sun and warmth!

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  10. So what equipment DO you need to pick blueberries? I'd need duct tape for my mouth so as not to eat them while picking them.

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  11. Walt
    Correct - Bleuets they are :-)
    With some thick creme ( like the one for scones) they are incredible.
    In 2 weeks time we will be in Maine where we can enjoy the wild ones ( smaller than the Bleuets).

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  12. Bilberries are a sort of blueberry cousin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilberry
    Both are loaded with antioxidants and thus very good for you. In the US, I try to buy the organic ones, as the commercially-raised crops are heavily sprayed. I suspect France might use somewhat less or fewer chemicals.

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  13. I like things made with blueberries (muffins for example) but I don't really care for the fruit itself.

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