Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with blue– or purple–colored berries. They are classified in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. Vaccinium also includes cranberries, bilberries, and huckleberries. Commercial “blueberries” – including both wild (‘lowbush’) and cultivated (‘highbush’) blueberries – are all native to North America. The highbush blueberry varieties were introduced into Europe during the 1930s.
Blueberries are sold fresh or are processed as individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or dried or infused berries. These may then be used in a variety of consumer goods, such as jellies, jams, blueberry pies, muffins, snack foods, or as an additive to breakfast cereals.
Blueberry jam is made from blueberries, sugar, water, and fruit pectin. Blueberry sauce is a sweet sauce prepared using blueberries as a primary ingredient.
Blueberry wine is made from the flesh and skin of the berry, which is fermented and then matured; usually the lowbush variety is used.