May 26, 2008

Myrtille vs. Bleuet

        One of these pics is of blueberries, the other, bilberries! Your guess is as good as mine!
        (*Not my pics, I got them on the web!)

I just learned tonight that myrtille does NOT mean blueberry, which I had been led to think for a while now.. but it means bilberry... and bleuet is blueberry.  I don't really think bilberries are marketed the same in California... 'cuz I don't ever recall buying a cartoon of bilberries... or having a bilberry muffin or bilberry pancakes.  But, honestly, I don't see much of difference in them- physically speaking.  I had to google it, though, to see what I could learn, and there are indeed some differences... But not interesting enough for me to note here in this post... Just simply that there are some differences between the two!  So, for all you American expats out there in France... when you reach for that muffin myrtille @ Starbucks.. it's NOT really a blueberry muffin... Oh the disillusionment I am now facing!! Just thought I'd let you know, since it's something new to me!!  


Justin said...

Hmm interesting. I was just thinking about blueberries yesterday. I am a berry nut, and I was trying to figure out what is in season now... I know strawberries from some regions (I think Spain now, and France soon or starting now) YES! and cherries will be soon, but when is blueberry season, I thought in the fall. I have had a bed spell of some bad strawberries, but I find a lot of good raspberries around me... okay, now I am rambling, I just love berries! ;-)

Leesa said...

Hey!! I'm a berry freak, too!! One suggestion about berries.. strawberries, esp! Try to buy organic (bio) because they usually contain a HIGH dose of pesticides... Even at the marche'.... It's sad, but you can't really wash 'em that welll and since they are close to the ground it makes it worse... The pesticides just go right into their outside skin.... hmmmm.. I know it's a real turnoff.. but maybe you can see if there are any bio vendeurs at your local marche' or even a La Vie Claire or Naturalia in your town! I love raspberries and I know that they are sooo good for you- high in antioxidants and other good stuff!! Now, I'm just rambling.... ramble on.... Take care, Leese

naturelle said...

Oh well...
something good about myrtilles: I've read they contain some of the good stuff found in cranberries... You know, cranberries are so good for your health.
During my first years in France it was so hard to find them (and I wanted to celebrate thanksgiving! ). I started trying to find their french name and info to see if I could find them in France... I learnt that their French name is "canneberges" and that myrtilles are almost as good for your health as cranberries ;)

Yeah.. great to prevent urinary trac infections, gum infections... there's even research being done about cancer...

About strawberries: you can also buy the plants and then grow them yourself at home :D They can grow even in pots...

Leesa said...

Hi Naturelle -

I know that cranberries are very good for your health... in fact, I bought some low sugar cranberry juice at Intermarche' and I've been drinking it with Pierrier for the past few days! Yummm... Anyhow.. Just to let you know, I found baskets of cranbrerries at the Monoprix in Montparnasse right around Thanksgiving time so I was able to make fresh cranberry sauce with orange. It was even better then then the canned stuff... I even found chedder cheese there that was pretty good!! I am still in search of Philly cream cheese here.. even though I brought back 12 blocks of them and they're in my freezer now awaiting to be made into cheesecake.. I am currently looking for a good recipe to make the cherry glaze topping from scratch! Take care, Leesa

Milk Jam said...

Bleuet is the quebecois word for blueberry just as canneberge is the quebecois word for cranberry. Don't use them in France because people won't understand!

Over the last 5 years the popularity of cranberries has increased 10fold! but always marketed as "cranberry."

If you say "bleuet" in France it is a flower, so everyone will be confused. The bilberry is basically just another word for blueberry (technically they slightly different but the difference is similar to that of different kinds of apples etc.)

So in France:

Blueberry - myrtille
Cranberry - cranberry

In Canada:

Blueberry - bleuet
Cranberry - canneberge

barbara said...

Hi Lisa,
The things that you learn; that's interesting.
Someone that is so involved with baking like yourself may be interested in these little details.

When D & I used to go to the Vosges "département" ( in Lorraine), we learned the word for "myrtille" over there: "la brimbelle", taking about wild blueberries.Those were tiny fruit that were more biiter than sweet !

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

You learn something new everyday...I didn;t know the difference!!!

I have never hear the word "Myrtille" either !!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like blackberries vs huckleberries on the west coast of California & Oregon. The blackberries must have some time of cold weather; the huckleberries will grow alright in warmer areas, frost free valleys etc. Unless you held them against each other, the differences would hardly show.

Anonymous said...

I am just reading a recipe for "confiture de myrtilles" from Marie Claire magazine. This recipe explains (in French): "In the summer you will find in the market cultivated 'myrtilles' ('blueberry' variety} that are bigger than wild myrtilles. The flesh inside these is white, not blue, and it doesn't stain. However when you are making jam, wild myrtilles are better." To me this sounds like a wild myrtille is smaller and blue (not white) on the inside, and it might have a stronger flavor. There must be a difference!

Leesa said...

Hi there Anon..

Thanks for your comment.. This is very interesting and I'm sure there are a ton of diff. varieties... I would tend to agree that the wild versions have more taste/flavour than the crop grown ones.. I think the ones that are purple inside have MUCH more flavour than the ones that are white inside... I LOVE blueberries...
Take care,