Wild blueberries? [Anywhere]

(Prabhakar Ragde) #1

Does anyone know where I can find fresh “wild” (lowbush) blueberries? These are often cultivated, but sometimes foraged, and are smaller than the usual highbush blueberries, which I’m now seeing in local greenmarkets. I’m used to buying them in Ontario, where they show up in August. (The Trader Joe’s frozen ones, which I think are from Quebec, are good for baking, but not for eating out of hand.)

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#2

Manhattan Fruit Exchange and Eataly might have them, if anyone does. They often carry less common fruits.

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #3

Eataly is a good suggestion, thanks (though I have not been able to find yuzu there). Manhattan Fruit Exchange, alas, is not. From a Yelp response to a one-star review dated Feb 2018:

We are so sorry to hear this but wanted to let you know that the location you are describing in Chelsea Market is no longer Manhattan Fruit Exchange. As of last April 2017, the store has a new name and is under new ownership and is no longer affiliated with Manhattan Fruit Exchange. At this time Manhattan Fruit Exchange is only operating wholesale in Ridgewood, NY but plans on opening more retail stores in the near future. Thank you for having been one of our loyal customers and we hope this feedback helps answer some of your questions!

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#4

Oh! Huh. The last time I visited Manhattan Fruit Exchange was after they downsized from their original space, but before the lower level store opened. I thought the newest incarnation would be similar to the first. Guess not! Too bad.

You’ve probably already thought of Fairway and Grace’s Marketplace (and they probably won’t have what you’re looking for, anyway), but I throw those names out regardless.

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #5

I wouldn’t expect it of Fairway (though I like it for many things, and in general). I didn’t know about Grace’s Marketplace, but I’m in Brooklyn, and there are similar places further south in Manhattan. You never know what arrangements places have! There may not be enough local consciousness about the difference to merit bringing product in, but all it takes is one enthusiast who can avoid losing money on the effort.

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#6

Oh it is soooo sad what happened to manhattan fruit exchange! I went to the new expanded space downstairs at chelsea market and nearly cried for what it once was… basically has turned into soho dean and deluca produce for curiosity seekers with significantly higher prices than before and fewer unique items, plus a lot more non perishables.
I won’t be back. Which is saying a lot because for many years it was a destination i would cross the city for.

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#7

I have only seen fresh wild blueberries for sale in Maine, nyc farmers markets have only cultivated blueberries. I know whole foods and fairway only have cultivated berries, although whole foods does sell frozen wild blueberries not sure where they are from.
Oh! Or plan a day trip…!

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #8

We don’t have a car. But even if we rented… day trip? Five hours one way with no traffic? This may be something we just do without.

People tend to say “You can find anything in New York”, but this is not always true. Also it may not be practical. I’m somewhat amazed that there is only one reliable source of fresh masa in the five boroughs, and it is an hour away by two trains from where I live. I will make the journey at some point (masa freezes reasonably well) but still…

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #9

Yes. In general Chelsea Market seems to me to be steadily degrading. I was impressed with Los Tacos but not with the line or where we had to squeeze in to eat our food. And it is not pleasant getting to anything in there, in terms of navigating through slow-moving crowds.

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#10

Oh sorry! I must have read the article too fast, i thought it was an hour train ride…

The only reason i go to chelsea market is for dizengoff now- and there’s a side street door to get directly there :slight_smile:

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #12

No, you are right, the article says 70 minutes (plus an eight-mile hike with 1500’ gain, I don’t know how much of that is necessary if one just wants blueberries). I thought you meant a day trip to Maine!

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#13

Haha, no maine is a bit further… the 8 mile hike is no joke though! I definitely didn’t recall that bit…
the local berries may not be in season just yet actually, seems to be end of july or early aug that they’re ripe.
I wonder if there’s a vendor at essex st market…? I haven’t been in ages but i recall some interesting produce there

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#14

Unlikely that you’d find fancy blueberries at Essex Market. But I’m there a couple times a week, so I’ll keep an eye out.

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #15

Thanks. I meant to go visit Essex again to say goodbye to the old location before they move this fall.

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#16

I believe that Berried Treasures has carried wild blueberries in the past at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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#17

The Maine blueberry season really doesn’t get started until August. Worth the wait.

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(David) #18

Well, from the replies it seems you don’t want to drive that far, but how about 1 1/2 hours into NJ? We have a wild blueberry picking spot right here in Monmouth County NJ.

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#19

Eataly had them last week. Call ahead.

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(Prabhakar Ragde) #20

Thanks! Will definitely check it out!

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