Fanny has had a distant relationship where blueberries are concerned.They disappoint her with their bland flavour and sometimes floury texture. But people go on about them don’t they? Not a week goes by without some blueberry muffin appearing in the food section of a colour magazine somewhere, with some reference to free radicals which have usually been cooked out, but never mind that small fact!
Just for the record, although I eat a lot more fruit than Fanny, I didn’t really take to blueberries that quickly either. I did however have that Damascus moment when I was visiting friends in Boston (USA) a few years ago. On this occasion I was handed a piece of blueberry pie that changed my feelings about blueberries forever. The pie was amazing – and I have yet to beat it.
Fanny mooted a point a couple of weeks back.
“Could they be better frozen, because they would be picked and processed very quickly? Much like peas…”
The question seemed perfectly reasonable, and so I trotted up to the local Tesco which sells a variety of different blueberries. For this test I have sampled their cheapest fresh Atlantic Blue-225g, their fresh “Hand Picked”-200g, and their “freshly frozen”- 350g variants.
The Atantic Blue were the entry level blueberries and accusations about lack of flavour can be levelled here. The hand picked ones were bigger and cost nearly twice as much, though they had 25g less than the entry level Atlantic Blue packet. However there was marginally more pronounced flavour and more evident sweetness but it was hard to be truly impressed with them.
There is a saying that says ‘you get what you pay for’ but it doesn’t apply so smugly here. On this occasion I can tell you that we found the best (by a mile) to be the frozen, for the reasons questioned above. Without a shadow of doubt the frozen bluberries licked their fresh counterparts with much better flavour and sweetness, and I can only assume that the processing so early after picking locks in the flavour and sweetness that the others lose in transit. Blueberry for blueberry they were much better value with 350g for the same price as the Atlantic Blue at 225g. We’ll be buying frozen from now on, knowing it’s a much more satisfying product.
Products purchased May 2015 from Tesco
Atlantic Blue Blueberries 225g £2.00
Hand Picked by Experts Blueberries 200g £3.50
Freshly Frozen Blueberries 350g £2.00