It is July and in Maine that signifies a person detail: It’s time to hunt some thing wild.
As in blueberries.
Wild blueberries get to harvest time in late July during the Down East area of Maine. Heading north to come across them is an adventure in sights (wonderful purple fields), tastes (from diner pancakes to posh cocktails) and the heritage of a fruit which is as authentically Maine as the lobster roll.
Wild blueberries are just one of only three berries indigenous to North America. Somewhat than on bushes, they increase in fields and on rocky hills known as barrens. Wild blueberries grow from shared roots that develop and evolve above years. Assume how the mangroves do the job: They look individual but are linked as just one.
Wild blueberries are smaller sized than regular blueberries, and due to the fact there is no genetic engineering, they range in dimensions, color and even flavor. They are thought of a tremendous foods, with anti-oxidants packed into each and every berry.
And they love the maritime temperature, flourishing in Maine and coastal Canada.
Wild blueberries are harvested by hand, normally utilizing rakes.
Said Colleen Craig, spokesman for Wyman’s Wild Blueberries, a single of Maine’s largest growers and distributors, the developing, harvesting and taking in is part of Maine pride that they enjoy to share.
“It’s Maine’s point out fruit,” she claimed. “As legendary as the lobster. We consider satisfaction in our wild blueberries. Most youngsters listed here grew up raking blueberries, and their mothers and fathers and grandparents did way too.”
A check out to Maine throughout harvest time (July to late slide) will supply a feast for the senses.
Wild berries expand for two many years prior to getting prepared for harvest, Craig claimed. And when they are at the completely ready, people can see genuine splendor.
“In Maine commencing at the conclude of July, driving as a result of Down East is like looking at a carpet a sea of blue,” she explained.
Blueberry barrens dot the landscape.
And in retailers and restaurants, their taste shines.
“You can obtain them in cocktails, sauces like dips for wings or a sweet and savory sauce on meat, in craft beer, jams and in other imaginative methods,” stated Craig.
Start off in Portland.
At famed Becky’s Diner (390 Business St., beckysdiner.com) wild blueberry pancakes are always a great option. But the serious seal-the-offer alternative, locals say, is their wild blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting.
The chefs at Chaval (58 Pine St., chavalmaine.com), also in Portland, choose wild blueberries to yet another stage, folding them into common French and Spanish dishes, and applying them in craft cocktails.
Even the well-acknowledged names embrace the wild. Luke’s Lobster (60 Portland Pier, lukeslobster.com) serves up slices of wild blueberry pie baked refreshing by Two Unwanted fat Cats Bakery (twofatcatsbakery.com). You can also quit in a person of the bakery’s two Portland places (195 Lancaster St. and 740 Broadway, South Portland) to convey a whole pie (or additional!) dwelling with you.
Continue on up the coastline to find a lot more spots.
In Milbridge, you will find the property of Wyman’s, in its fourth era of household ownership, and the most significant supplier of wild blueberries in the entire world.
While they have no excursions, they hold and get element in quite a few events centered all around the wild berries.
This 12 months they will be element of the state’s 1st ever Wild Blueberry Weekend (wildblueberries.com/where-to-buy/wild-blueberry-weekend/) Aug. 7-8, when you’ll locate special blueberry similar functions all together the Down East coastline.
And hold your eyes open: Wyman’s Bee Wild Mobile will be out and about to share the historical past of the berries and give you a taste of a new fruit cup starring that indigenous fruit.