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What Makes Maine Blueberries Special?

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Close up of a wooden bowl of freshly washed blueberries.

A quick burst of sweetness followed by a tart complexity explodes in your mouth! It can be nothing but a sweet, luscious Maine blueberry. And they’re so delightful that every blueberry will bring a smile to your face. 

Not only are you enjoying a thirst-quenching fruit, but you’re enjoying one of the best fruits — blueberries. And, it’s in one of the best places — Maine.

But what really makes Maine Blueberries so special? Is it really all about the location, or could it be how they’re grown? Or maybe it’s the simple fact that they are good for you. Read on to learn all about this delectable fruit.

What Is a Maine Blueberry?

Maine’s official state fruit, the blueberry, is referred to as a Maine blueberry because it’s specific to the state. It’s a wild blueberry, often called a low-bush blueberry.

That means their plants are shorter and sprawl more when growing than the more common highbush blueberry varieties. Those are taller, producing a larger berry. But don’t let the Main blueberries’ small size fool you. While they are smaller, they have more flavor. 

A woman bends over to pick low-bush blueberries and put them in a blue bucket.

And while other blueberries are grown for large-scale production, Maine blueberries only grow naturally in the wild. However, large farming companies mostly harvest them like blueberries grown outside Maine.

But you can still find Maine blueberries that you can rake and pick on your own without the help of commercial products. The harder the work, the sweeter the berry, right?

What Makes Maine Blueberries Special?

Maine’s wild blueberries are a rare find, and that’s why they’re so special. Found only in Maine in colder climates (the berries need the winter chill to mature properly), these natural gems have twice as much antioxidant power as other blueberries. 

They also happen to be sweeter with just enough tartness, unlike most traditional berries that lack this burst from their flavor profile. Backed by Mother Nature herself, these have been growing in the wilds of Maine for more than 10,000 years. Now that’s something special!

Why Are Maine Blueberries So Small? 

One main reason they’re so small is that they aren’t pumped with water like the larger varieties. But their small size has big benefits. They pack more punch in flavor and antioxidants because of their higher skin-to-pulp ratio and natural growth patterns

A handful of fresh picked, small blueberries, the size you would find in the wild in Maine.

That means rich flavors and vibrant colors of one of the finest fruits around. Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to Maine blueberries.

Where Do Maine Blueberries Grow?

These berries only grow wild, where they thrive in the colder, glacier-churned soil. The harsher environment of this northeastern state isn’t a hindrance to this fruit; it’s a requirement. The colder temperatures of the winter months are exactly what these tiny little berries need to grow properly. 

Then, in late July and into early August, they’re ready for harvesting. They’re also ready for popping straight into your mouth or creating another Maine favorite, the blueberry pie. And just as Maine’s state fruit is the wild blueberry, its state dessert is the blueberry pie.

Which State Has the Wildest Blueberries? 

From the rolling hills of southern Maine, all the way northward into Canada, dwells some truly wild berries. These rugged fruits can withstand cold temperatures and intense frost events because they grow in soils formed by glacial activity. Because of this, Maine is the state that has the wildest blueberries.

A blueberry pie topped with whipped topping and a circular pattern of blueberries.

Traveler’s Tip: Where to Find Sea Glass Beaches in Maine

Can I Grow Wild Maine Blueberries? 

Grown wild in the harsh glacier climate of Maine — farmers never plant them. So while you can grow blueberries, you cannot grow wild Maine blueberries.

If you want the succulent sweetness of these berries alongside that effervescent pop of tartness, you’ll have to go to the source to get it.

Are Wild Maine Blueberries Good for You?

There’s no doubt that wild blueberries are full of nature’s love. These little berries are packed with antioxidants — twice as much as other blueberries. That can help protect your body against cell damage from free radicals (cell waste).

In addition, wild blueberries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. All these nutrients promote a healthy body and mental and physical wellness. 

A person holds up a bowl filled with blueberries, almonds, and yogurt with a lake and mountains in the background.

Consuming wild blueberries, coupled with a healthy diet and physical activity, can help promote bone health and help maintain healthy blood pressure. These little gems can also help protect your body against cancer and heart disease.

So, if you’re looking for food that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, wild blueberries are a great choice.

Is a Maine Blueberry Worth Tasting? 

Asking if a Maine blueberry is worth tasting is like asking a nature lover if visiting Maine is worth their time. The answer to both is a resounding yes.

Grown naturally by Mother Nature, with billions of years of experience under her belt, you can bet that a wild Maine blueberry is something worth tasting. Packing a powerful punch of flavor in a tiny package, this is a food you won’t want to miss and needs to be put on — or, should we say — in your bucket…list.

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