Bilberry

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Bilberries

Bilberry (blaeberry, whortleberry (pronounced /ˈhɜrtəlˌbɛrɨ/) or hurts, whinberry, winberry or wimberry, myrtle blueberry, black-hearts and fraughan is any of several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium (family Ericaceae), bearing edible fruits. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., but there are several other closely related species.

The fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry and similar in taste. Bilberries are darker in colour, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of blue. While the blueberry's fruit pulp is light green, the bilberry's is red or purple, heavily staining the fingers and lips of consumers eating the raw fruit.

Bilberries are extremely difficult to grow and are thus seldom cultivated. Fruits are mostly collected from wild plants growing on publicly accessible lands, notably Finland, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, parts of England, Alpine countries, Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, Poland and northern parts of Turkey and Russia. Note that in Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, it is an everyman's right to collect bilberries, irrespective of land ownership, with the exception of private gardens. Bilberries can be picked by a berry-picking rake like lingonberries, but are more susceptible to damage. Bilberries are softer and juicier than blueberries, making them difficult to transport. Because of these factors, the bilberry is only available fresh in gourmet stores, where they can cost up to 25 Euro per pound. Frozen bilberries however are available all year round in most of Europe.

How much does one cup of bilberries weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Bilberries fresh/raw
1
100 grams 4 ounces

Conversion notes:
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