The Difference Between Blueberries and Huckleberries

If you have never tasted huckleberries, you may be confused between the two different berries:  Huckleberries and Blueberries.  Add in Bilberries, and you may really be confounded.

According to Wikipedia:

Blueberries are a widely distributed and widespread group of perennial flowering plants with blue or purple berries. They are classified in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium Vaccinium also includes cranberries, bilberries ,huckleberries and Madeira blueberries.

“Bilberry” appears to have a Scandinavian origin, possibly from as early as 1577, being similar to the Danish word bølle forwhortleberry with the addition of “berry”. The bilberry (especially Vaccinium myrtillus) is also known by a number of other names including blaeberry in Scottish and Northern English regional dialects and the Scots language,whortleberry in southern England,w(h)imberry w(h)inberryin Derbyshire, along the Anglo-Welsh border, and south Wales, amongst other places

“Huckleberry” is a North American variation of the English dialectal name variously called ‘hurtleberry’ or ‘whortleberry’ for the bilberry. In North America the name was applied to numerous plant variations all bearing small berries with colors that may be red, blue or black. It is the common name for various Gaylussacia species, and some Vacciniumspecies, such asVaccinium parvifolium, the red huckleberry, and is also applied to other Vaccinium species which may also be called blueberries depending upon local custom, as in New England and parts of Appalachia.

Still confused!

The MasterClass website explains in easier to understand terms:

Huckleberry vs. Blueberry: How the Fruits CompareThe Difference Between Blueberries and Huckleberries

Blueberries and huckleberries can be similar in appearance and usage since they’re close relatives in the family Ericaceae. However, there are several ways to differentiate them:

  1. Availability: Wild huckleberry picking is popular in states like Washington, Oregon, and Alaska since huckleberries generally aren’t available in grocery stores. (Wild huckleberries are notoriously tricky to domesticate—and one of the grizzly bear’s favorite foods.) On the other hand, you can forage blueberries from the wild or buy them in many grocery stores.
  2. Growth pattern: Blueberry bushes grow fruit in clusters on the plant level, but huckleberry bushes grow separate single berries. As a result, the overall yield from a blueberry bush is likely to be greater than a huckleberry bush of similar size.
  3. Interior color: Blueberries are pale green or white on the inside, but huckleberries are either blue or purple when split open.
  4. Seeds: Huckleberries are full of hard seeds, which can taste bitter if eaten. Blueberries, meanwhile, have much softer, tiny seeds inside.
  5. Taste: Huckleberry taste varies depending on the specific species of huckleberry. Red huckleberries are quite tart, whereas darker purple huckleberries have a sweeter flavor. Ripe blueberries tend to have a more uniform sweet flavor, though lowbush varieties have a more intense flavor than domesticated highbush varieties.

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