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Old 11-23-2009, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,475 posts, read 6,184,314 times
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Where I live, huckleberries are unheard of so therefore, I've never been quite sure what they are except that they seem to be good for pies.

Two years ago, I came across huckleberries in a greenhouse and bought a dozen plants, not knowing how high they grow or what they are meant to look like.

They grew maybe a foot high - like actual plants, not bushes or anything and soon enough developed beautiful blue-looking berries, like smaller blueberries. However, they tasted just awful - like grass. I couldn't imagine making a pie out of them. Thinking they might only look ripe, and not be ripe, I left them alone and periodically tasted them. Eventually they tasted a little less grassy but they certainly never reached the level of tasty.

So is that what huckleberries are supposed to be like? If so, do they taste better cooked into a pie or jam? I never did anything with them.

Here we have blueberries, and saskatoons, which are a smaller but sweeter version of blueberries and grow on small trees. Huckleberries looked like they should taste similiar although the plants themselves looked nothing like bushes or trees. Are there different versions of huckleberries and because this was a new thing in this greenhouse they got the wrong kind?
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Newport, NC
956 posts, read 3,486,414 times
Reputation: 703
I remember gathering wild huckleberries as a kid in western PA. They always tasted good to us - the problem was getting enough home so mom could make a pie!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky
1,237 posts, read 2,640,207 times
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Here in Kentucky huckleberries grow wild. They are a small woody bush 6 inchs to two feet high and turn purple when they are ripe. They taste much like blueberries, but the berries are smaller and more purple.
Sounds like you bought somethng else. Anyhow, they make great pies, or canned, great toppings for cakes, pancakes, whatever. Great in muffins.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:54 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,494,629 times
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I think that there are more than one type of berries that are called "huckleberries" The ones in my state grow in the mountains and are really a Mountain Blueberry, great in pancakes, jams, jellies and syrup. Western Washington has larger bushes that have either red or blue "huckleberries" I think these are a different species of plant than our huckleberries, ours taste like mild flavored blueberries. Huckleberries around the rest of the country I have no idea about.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,038,260 times
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We picked them in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as children...we couldn't get enough...tastier and sweeter than blueberries...as far as I remember; we always ate them all before we got home.

They grew in poor soil near "mountain escarpments"...low and scraggily looking shrubs, the fruits were smaller than blueberries.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huckleberry . YOU may find this helpful... http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-huckleberries.htm

http://homecooking.about.com/library...blhuckbery.htm

http://huckleberry.xenite.org/

http://www.answers.com/topic/huckleberry SHOULD HELP!!!
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
25,332 posts, read 16,279,731 times
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They're common here in North Idaho. While out on the ATV I've come across some mountain tops almost solid with huckleberry bushes. There is quite a bit of commercial picking around here...they sell for around $40 per gallon. Some plants will produce berries while others don't, they seem to be pretty elevation sensitive.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:29 PM
 
5,905 posts, read 5,079,972 times
Reputation: 4534
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Where I live, huckleberries are unheard of so therefore, I've never been quite sure what they are except that they seem to be good for pies.

Two years ago, I came across huckleberries in a greenhouse and bought a dozen plants, not knowing how high they grow or what they are meant to look like.

They grew maybe a foot high - like actual plants, not bushes or anything and soon enough developed beautiful blue-looking berries, like smaller blueberries. However, they tasted just awful - like grass. I couldn't imagine making a pie out of them. Thinking they might only look ripe, and not be ripe, I left them alone and periodically tasted them. Eventually they tasted a little less grassy but they certainly never reached the level of tasty.

So is that what huckleberries are supposed to be like? If so, do they taste better cooked into a pie or jam? I never did anything with them.

Here we have blueberries, and saskatoons, which are a smaller but sweeter version of blueberries and grow on small trees. Huckleberries looked like they should taste similiar although the plants themselves looked nothing like bushes or trees. Are there different versions of huckleberries and because this was a new thing in this greenhouse they got the wrong kind?
This is the variety I grew up on in Western Washington:

http://www.almostgotit.com/wp-conten...uckleberry.jpg

My grandparents had 4 trees in their backyard, and the neighborhood park had hiking trails dotted with them.

My grandmother made the BEST jelly with them (and I miss it more than I can say ), and my grandfather made excellent wine with the juice.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:10 PM
 
163 posts, read 140,597 times
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You need to cook em. We use black nightshade which is in the same family. Green berries are toxic but they lose their toxicity as they get black and also when you cook them.

A nightshade pie tastes just like blueberries!
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,475 posts, read 6,184,314 times
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Thank you all. I do wonder what it was that I grew because I certainly didn't find them very tasty, although I had a bumper crop of them. One of the articles said they were tarter than blueberries, which my berries certainly were but most of you say huckleberries are sweet. I can't imagine huckleberries being as popular as they are if they all taste like mine did.

They also are said to be expensive because they aren't cultivated and yet I had a bumper crop of them. The same greenhouse has been selling them each year since the year I had them but I've never bought them again.

Is the flavour of huckleberries noticably different in different varieties and colours of the berries?
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 1,969,220 times
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Two unrelated plants both known as huckleberries:

The nightshade, with berries that are toxic when unripe, and have a 'grassy' flavor. These are quick growing, smaller, similar care and growing conditions for tomatoes, pepino, pepprs, et. al.

A cranberry/blueberry (ericales) relative, with much tastier berries. These are bigger shrubs, similar growth habit and culture as blueberries.
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