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larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
huckleberries on 09/06/2009 11:04:46 MDT Print View

I brought a couple of pints of huckleberries out last trip which made there way to my in-laws. Now everytime I bring them huckleberries my father-in-law annouces that these aren't real huckleberries in the Northwest but a false huckleberry.
My new solution to this is not bring them anymore huckleberries - the sweat equity per pint to is too large to put up with. In Northern Idaho you often share the bushes with a bear or two in remote locations. Having never been east of the big middle I've not had a real huckleberry only my piddley false ones.
What is the difference in taste, size, and availability between them? Do real huckleberries have more huckle to them?

Edited by pyeyo on 09/06/2009 11:07:07 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: huckleberries on 09/06/2009 11:08:12 MDT Print View

The huckleberries are fine. Instead, go to customer service and ask that they either fix your current father-in-law or replace him with a new one. That should do it.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
huckleberries on 09/06/2009 13:45:42 MDT Print View

Huckleberries, lingonberries, bllberries, cranberries and blueberries are all in the same genus, Vaccinium of the family Ericaceae. There are between 400 and 500 species in this genus; the idea of which of the, say, 450 species is the REAL huckleberry could be the subject of a long, heated and fruitless (pun intended) debate. There are berries called huckleberries in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana as well as many eastern states. For a person to claim that theirs is the only true huckleberry is a display of provincialism, nothing more. The only REAL name for a plant or animal is its taxonomic binomial name: for example, Vaccinium ovatum, one of the western huckleberries. All other names are simply local custom.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: huckleberries on 09/06/2009 20:18:38 MDT Print View

Larry, take a look at this photo from this Friday:

The big dark one is a Huckleberry, the two smaller ones are Blueberries.

If you want a good guide get a copy of The Huckleberry Book by Asta Bowen. It is a great book!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
PS: Larry on 09/06/2009 21:11:51 MDT Print View

Do you read the WTA's magazine? (Washington Trails) My husband and I did a section on H-Berry recipes in the current issue (Sept/Oct 2009). H-Berry Cobbler and a savory Salmon Rice Pilaf are the recipes.
Yes, I have a huge thing for berries. My mom and dad loved taking us up into the foothills of the Cascades when I was growing up. My mom and I made jam, just as I do now.

To me, there is little as good as a ripe berry popping between my teeth in the warm sun of early fall :-) Call me Momma Bear!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
huckleberries on 09/06/2009 23:39:13 MDT Print View

If they're wild, I call 'em huckleberries. The difference in taste between any wild huckleberry and domestic blueberries is enormous. The latter taste like cardboard by comparison.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: huckleberries on 09/07/2009 08:06:35 MDT Print View

Mary, I'd so agree. Love my bushes in the backyard I tend to yearly and I love my wild bushes I tend to yearly (Mine! Mine!) But sigh, a tub of big flavorless ones from Costco just are not the same!

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
my first huckleberry, sigh on 09/07/2009 10:31:45 MDT Print View

In 1970 I came north from the Mohave desert to climb Mt.St. Helen, back when it was a wee bit stouter.
Stopping along a road near a place called Indian Race Track near Mt. Adams my co-conspirator wanted to pick these little berries. Being sleep deprived I went along with this fiasco. After awhile some of the juice must of inadvertantly dripped into my mouth and I was soon a delightful burple color.
One day I stumbled across a can of lingonberries from Sweden in an odd little store up at Big Bear Lake [weirdly it was a Britain merchandise store],aha these are those same berries from Washington and purchased the can.
I carried this can of berries all summer in the Sierras and Rockies and into the fall in the LaSal mountains before finally opening it to savor those amazing little orbs of heaven.
Hmm, not the same thing which required me to relocate my family to Washington for better access.I can still remember the summer of 97 when the previous winters snow kept the bushes from fruiting, a very sad season purchasing huckleberry products from, gasp, Montana.

Edited by pyeyo on 09/07/2009 10:33:31 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: my first huckleberry, sigh on 09/07/2009 11:57:38 MDT Print View


And yes, that was a summer to cry over. :-(