Blueberries are a fruit that many like, they are perhaps an acquired taste for some, but they are very enjoyable nonetheless. One of the best things about blueberries is how they are so jam-packed with antioxidants and nutrients.
They taste so good and are a great pairing with most if not all salads and smoothies, but when you are faced with multiple varieties of blueberries, you may not know what the difference is and how quickly you should pick them.
The truth is in the taste.
The sweetest blueberries you can get will be ones that come from the Northern or the Southern Highbush. These will be from along the East coast in the United States. The next sweetest will be legacy blueberries which are found in the Northeast and across the North Midwest.
There are many types of blueberries, but they can easily be separated into two categories, the bush from which they came and the variety they are in relation to said bush.
As you can see, we did our homework, and a lot of it, so we will go through all our findings step by step. If you are like us and are a blueberry fanatic, then keep on reading, because we have a treat for you!
Which Blueberries Are Sweetest?
Right then, you want some blueberries? Well, if you want to up your chances of getting the sweetest ones, there is a chance you will get it. It will depend on the cultivators your local store has stocked, but there are some which are the sweetest.
Note that any blueberry that comes from the Northern or Southern Highbush will be super sweet, and sweeter than a vast majority of other blueberries, just check on the box or label on the packaging.
Labels should tell you where this berry was grown, but if you need extra help, we have put together a table with this information below.
Do note that not everyone is so kind as to tell you which bush the berries you just picked up come from, some will state the cultivar it is. If this is what you are dealing with, then check the bush, we will discuss this more for you in a moment, but do not forget to make use of Google in these situations too!
Irresistible Blueberry Tip: Are you considering taking blueberries with you when you go on a hike? Cool! But it is best to take dried blueberries, fresh ones do not travel well!
What Blueberries Are There?
As we said above, there are quite a few blueberry varieties, and when we are talking about them, you need to remember there is more than just one variety of blueberry bushes as well. And, each bush will have its very own blueberry variety.
You could break down the taste of them as per the Bush from which the blueberries have grown, instead of just the cultivar.
This is because while every cultivar is different, they will all be similar if they grow on the same bush type.
We won’t jump into taste and texture just yet, first, we want to talk about the bushes, so this way you know what to keep your eyes peeled for if you buy blueberries or even if you grow them yourself.
Let’s think about bushes now, of course, we will discuss the blueberry bushes which grow in the USA. If you are not in the USA, do not stress too much as much of the world also shares these kinds of bushes too! However, these bushes do grow best in these specific climates, so be aware!
Popular blueberry bushes:
- Lowbush (found in the wild).
- Highbush (farmed).
- Rabbit Eye (hot climates).
Amazingly we have found a way that we can adapt certain fruits and vegetables to grow in the climates that we live in, this is the reason why we have so many varieties of the very same fruit, which is the case with blueberries.
Note that blueberries are specific in when they grow as well.
Let us look at a list of the popular cultivars of blueberries:
- Bluegold blueberries.
- Jersey blueberries.
- Legacy blueberries.
- Northsky blueberries.
- Patriot blueberries.
- Powderblue blueberries.
- Premier blueberries.
- Sunshine blue blueberries.
Blueberry Berry & Bush Taste Overview
To help you better visualize exactly what we are talking about in regard to bush, cultivar, and blueberries as a whole, we have decided that a table will help you when you go out hunting for blueberries on the shelves and in the wild.
Save it to your phone, and take it with you, so you know what to expect from every blueberry you pick up.
|Rabbit Eye||Firm||Mild||Premier, Brightwell, Powderblue.||Southeast United States.|
|Lowbush||Firm||Mild Sweetness||Wild Blueberries.||North East United States & Central Canada.|
|Half-Highbush||Firm||Sweet||Northland, Patriot.||South East & North East United States.|
|Northern Highbush||Firm||Extremely Sweet||Bluegold, Jersey, Legacy.||Eastern United States.|
|Southern Highbush||Firm||Extremely Sweet||Bluegold, Elliot, Legacy.||Southern United States (Inc. Florida).|
Why Might Blueberries Not Be Sweet?
Are your blueberries not sweet? There could be a few reasons for this. Even if the cultivar is typically known as being a sweet one, it can happen when your blueberries are not sweet. It is never great to expect sweetness and receive bitterness, but it does happen.
So, why could this happen?
Reasons for an unsweet blueberry can include: Too little sunlight during growth, overripeness, or not ripened yet.
One of the main reasons is not waiting long enough for the berry to be ripe enough. If it has not had time to ripen, then its acid and acid balance will be off. However, if it is overripe, it will taste bitter, and the longer they are overripe, the less sweet they will be until eventually, they go bad.
If the blueberry does not get enough sun, there is nothing you can do to salvage it. The only time you can is if you are the one growing the blueberries yourself.
Signs Your Blueberries Will Be Sweet?
When you are at the store, you want to have a telltale sign that you picked up blueberries that will be yummy and sweet, without having to open the pack before you buy. One of the best ways to know is to ask if you can taste or feel one, as every cultivar will taste and feel different.
If you do get to feel them and they are firm but you need to use some pressure to really squeeze them, this is perfect. The skin should be firm, but the inside soft.
Are your blueberries not sweet enough? That is not on! Let’s fix that for you!
What To Do When They Aren’t Ripe
If your blueberries are not ripe then just place them carefully in a paper bag and store them in a secure cupboard for 2-4 days at room temperature. This will ripen them up nicely.
Overripeness/ Just Not Sweet
If your blueberries are over-ripe or just simply not sweet enough, then cut them in half and add in some sugar. This will take away some of the health-related aspects to the blueberry, and it’s not the best solution for an over-ripe or unsweet blueberry, but it works, so it will do.
Alternatively, if you added the blueberries to a fruit salad with some cranberry juice or into a smoothie, this can be delicious and you add sweetness to the taste of the blueberry while still getting the health benefits you would miss out on if you just cut them open and put some sugar inside.
Our aim today was to ensure that you walk away from reading this fully aware of the different cultivars, tastes, and such that blueberries offer, but also to ensure you can tell whether a blueberry is sweet and ripe or not.
If you were just here to find out which is the sweetest, then highbush and legacy blueberries are the sweetest!
Are Large Blueberries Sweeter?
We usually think that large blueberries are sweeter, and they often are. This is because they have usually been on the bush for longer than a smaller blueberry so has had more time to take in more sugar, which makes them sweeter, if even only slightly.
How Do You Know When Blueberries Are Sweet?
Ensure your blueberries are dry, plump, and smooth-skinned, they should be purplish blue-black. While size does not dictate maturity all the time, color does.
How Do You Increase The Sweetness Of Blueberries?
To make blueberries sweeter, toss them in maple syrup, juice, honey, and sugar. Or if they are unripe, store them securely at room temperature and allow them to ripen fully.