Random facts about blueberries in France, including if their white bloom is natural, plus links to easy and healthy French blueberry dessert recipes.
French Blueberry Season
Summer. From June - September.
There are 2 main types: small wild blueberries found in the mountains, and the bigger cultivated blueberries. These were brought to France from North America as late as the 1980s but have less flavour than the smaller wild ones.
What is their White Coating or Bloom?
Notice that white bloom on blueberries? For a long time, I thought they were treated with chemicals or coated in wax and that's why there was a white coating on them. The good news is that it's the opposite. Thankfully it's neither of them, as the fruit sellers at our French markets explain so well.
The white coating or bloom is perfectly safe and a totally natural coating that protects the fruit from bacteria or insects.
It's also a good sign that blueberries are fresh and haven't been handled much as the bloom disappears over a few days.
However, do wash blueberries before eating.
Healthy SuperFood Fruits
- Blueberries are rich in vitamin C, K, fibre and are good antioxidants.
Eaten fresh, scatter them on top of breakfasts like French pancakes or crêpes, healthy maple granola for breakfast or on a crème caramel for dessert;
- Blueberries are usually sold at our French markets in little trays (barquettes) of about 125g/4.5oz;
- French cultivated blueberries, however, lack flavour so in recipes where cooking them, bring out their taste by adding vanilla, almond, lemon - and even lemon coriander seeds (see my blueberry bavarois recipe);
- Storage: It's best to store them in the fridge for up to a week.
Recipes with Blueberries
Blueberry Bavarois with Lemon and Coriander - this Bavarois is a French version of an Italian panna cotta but has less cream and more on the citrus to bring out the flavours of the blueberry. What's more, coriander seeds bring out the lemon flavour and so this combination is subtle but so elegant.
Blueberries are perfect served fresh on top of this healthy maple granola with no added sugar. It's a great way to start your day.
Add blueberries to this Berry Crème Brûlée - it's so light and, unlike a classic crème brûlée, it's an express version that's made in 30 minutes!
Blueberries are great for adding the healthy topping to red, white and blue desserts like this Berry Sherry Trifle made with macarons (and gluten free).
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