The answer is one at a time:
That’s right. No bowls. No spoons. No popping two in your mouth at once to save time (this is slow food, after all, and who wouldn’t want to extend the exquisite pleasure of eating berries fresh off the bush).
Because each berry tastes different, when we eat a spoonful or handful all at once, we get a blended generic flavor. Think blended Scotch Whiskey. But eating them singly, you realize that each is different. In some the predominant note is sour; others are cloyingly sweet. Each of those extremes actually masks what is unique about this food, which is the ineffable, incredible and nearly-lost-to-civilization authentic flavor of blueberry. It cannot be described in terms of sweet and bitter. When the sugar and acid are well-balanced in a single berry, they cancel each other out, leaving the essence of blueberry to emerge. That flavor is flat, situated somewhere between strawberry, banana and grape. Not showy at all. And full of sun, like a simple Chianti.
Eating blueberries alone is also a treat for the eyes. It forces you to survey the bowl with each pluck, deciding between the buxomy allure of the plumpest individuals, and the tantalizing promise of a small, slightly glossy berry, tinged with purple, suggesting the wildness of the uncultivated Vaccinium.
Speaking of cultivation, the happy result being achieved at BRTG may be due to good morning sun, a highly acid soil mix used for the blueberry bed,
and an annual top dressing of peat moss to keep up that acidity. In addition, blueberries seriously hate drought, and on many weekday mornings I supplement the generally effective irrigation system with some supplemental hand watering. There is nothing special about the cultivars, though, consisting of three commonly found in commerce: ‘Bluecrop’ (the earliest), ‘Chandler’ (a bit later) and ‘Darrow’ (a late season bearer).
Robert Frost was fond of blueberries,
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come.
Something I had never considered before.
Converted for life. Beautiful post.
ah, the buxomy allure of the plumpest…