Monday, July 30, 2007

Blueberries and Bilberries...I had no idea

Last week when I made Conchas I discovered that there are blueberries and bilberries. All this time I thought they were the same berry, one just being a bit bigger. But was I wrong.

I realized that one of the biggest contributors to this confusion were their names in English and Swedish. Blueberry is sometimes called “blueberry” and sometimes “American blueberry” in Swedish. And bilberry is also called “blueberry” in Swedish. So you can understand where all this confusion starts.

Bilberries are very Swedish; they grow all over the forests, mostly in the north of the country. And they are very loved and appreciated berries. Sometimes I think that they were probably the first thing that started growing here in the North after all ice melted zillion years ago. And blueberries are imported, meaning more expensive, meaning less popular. You can find them in the stores sold in very small packages among all exotic fruits.

But last week I bought both, blueberries and bilberries. I thought that blueberries would fit better for conchas just because they looked more firm and would be easier to incorporate into the dough (and I was right).

So was I surprised when I saw that blueberries are actually white inside and taste differently? Oh, yes I was. I felt like I was living in a lie all these years :-) just because someone messed it up linguistically.

However, I like both, blueberries and bilberries. Blueberries are meaty and have this pleasant sweet perfume. And bilberries taste forest, in a good way. Bellow you can see the difference, blueberries to the left and bilberries to the right.

Anyway, I still want to know who messed up the linguistic part. How can blueberries and bilberries have the same name in Swedish? Do tell if you know.

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