The bilberry, also known as blaeberry, whortleberry or winberry, is the fruit of a small shrub that grows wild on open acidic land across the British Isles. Bilberries turn blue with a bloom once ripe and taste like intensely flavoured blueberries.
Bilberries can be picked from July to September.
Bilberries can be eaten raw or cooked in much the same way as blueberries. They are very juicy once cooked. Serve raw with cream and sugar, or in muesli or fruit salad. Traditionally, bilberries were added to pie and tart fillings, with apples used to soak up the excess juice. Bilberries can also be added to summer fruit mixtures, baked in muffins or turned into sorbets and sauces. They are excellent preserved in jellies and jams and in France are turned into liqueur.
Article by Sybil Kapoor
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