Bilberries
BILBERRIES.
INTRODUCTION

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The bilberry is a berry that there grows of the small shrub namesake of the family of the Ericáceas of the genre Vaccinium, which reaches from 25 to 50 centimeters high. This genre is formed by a dozen of plants that produce berries or reddish, rich of dark color, bluish in antocianos, vegetable pigments that award his typical color.




ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

These fruits are native to Asia and Europe and they can be seen in the wild state in margins of ways or gorges. They grow in humid areas and in some cases, like the sloe brandy, they can be to 1.500 meters of altitude. They mature during the summer months and autumn. At present, species are cultivated with commercial ends, for what is easy to find them on specializing markets. The bilberry that is consumed in Spain comes basically from Australia, Chile, Holland and Italy, but every time they take major relevancy those who come from Huelva and Asturias.

More outstanding varieties:


Black or American bilberries: (V. corymbosum L.). There are fruits of bluish black color and of a top size with regard to the common bilberry (6,5-12,5 millimeters in diameter) and they are the richest in vitamin C. They proliferate in the shrubs that grow on acidic soils, in high areas. It is a question of a species that was so abundant in the north of Europe that was not turning out to be profitable to cultivate them commercially. At present, his number has diminished and that's why it is possible to buy cultivated berries that double the size of the wild ones, but with a very attenuated flavor.

Red or sour bilberries: (V. oxycoccus L.). They were very popular in Europe, but with the commercial distribution of the red redcurrants, his demand fell down in stung. At present, they are cultivated in Holland, Poland, north of England and Scotland. They need to be cooked to heighten his flavor. There are fruits more sour than those of blue color. They contain more acidating substances of the urine, therefore they turn out to be advisable to fight urinal and digestive infections.

Although on the markets there is infinity of varieties of this fruit, they can be reviewed like most commercialized in Spain them siguientes:Early Blacks, Highbuss, Bluetta, Ivanhoe, Rabiteis, Blue crop, Blueray. It is a plant of ecological interest, not only for his fruits but because also it protects the soil of the forests of the erosion and contributes to the humus formation.

HIS BEST EPOCH

It is free from June until December. Once gathered, one preserves during 4 ó 5 weeks bearing in mind his needs for moisture and temperature.

CHARACTERISTICS

It forms: the fruit is a spherical, round or egg-shaped berry.

Size: his size is similar to that of an olive, of between 7 and 12 millimeters in diameter.

Color: his color is black when it reaches the full ripeness or red, according to the variety. He turns out to be covered by a bluish grit or a more or less brilliant resistant movie.

Flavor: the skin is smooth and his juicy and aromatic pulp of sweet and sour flavor.


HOW TO CHOOSE THEM AND TO PRESERVE THEM


On having chosen this type of fruits, it is suitable to be fixed in his color, it has to be brilliant and intense. Road surfaces must be to the tact and dry seasons, since the soft and humid ones get damaged earlier. They usually deteriorate for dehydration, quitter of the small grains that form them or rust.


Normally the aroma accompanies to the aspect of the food and there are usually very perfumed fruits.


There must not be acquired the fruits that are not mature thinking that they will mature already at home, since this will not happen. It is not also suitable to acquire them too mature since they lose his juice.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories (Kcal) 30,1
Carbohydrates (g) 6,9
Fibre (g) 1,8
Potassium (mg) 88
Magnesium (mg) 0,5
Provitamina A (mcg) 12
Vitamin C (mg) 17
Vitamin And (mg) 5
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


These fruits are of low caloric value for his scarce carbohydrates contribution. There are especially rich in vitamin C the black redcurrants and the red ones, which have quantities major than some citrus fruits. In general, the wild berries are a good fibre source; that improves the intestinal transit, and of potassium, iron and calcium (these two last ones of worse use that the proceeding ones from food of animal origin), tannins of astringent action and of diverse organic acids. Nevertheless, what in fact it characterizes to these fruits is his plenty of natural pigments (antocianos and carotenoides) of antirust action. In the human feeding, this type of fruits constitutes one of the most important sources of antocianos, who award his typical color and who are together with such organic acids like the oxalic acid or the malic acid, responsible also for his flavor. The vitamin C has antirust action, as the antocianos and carotenoides. The above mentioned vitamin intervenes in the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red globules and favors the absorption of the iron of the food and the resistance to the infections. The potassium is necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse, for the normal muscular activity and it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell.




AS REGARDS THE HEALTH
The antocianos and carotenoides they are abundant in the composition of all these fruits of the forest. From the biochemical point of view they are characterized for possessing a high antirust activity; they neutralize the action of the free radicals that are harmful to the organism. These properties can give place to very diverse physiological effects; anti-inflammatory effects and antibacterial action of the antocianos, between others. These fruits contain, in addition to the antocianos and carotenoides, antirust others like the vitamin C. The dietetic ingestion of these substances promotes our immune system or of defenses of the organism and helps to reduce the risk of degenerative, cardiovascular illnesses and enclosed of the cancer. Also, the vitamin C has the aptitude to favor the absorption of the iron of the food, therefore it improves or prepares the anemia ferropénica. There exist certain vital situations in which the organic needs for vitamin C are increased, like pregnancy, lactation, nicotinism, employment of certain medicines, stress and diminished defenses, intense sports practice, cancer, AIDS and chronic inflammatory illnesses. In the above mentioned situations, the consumption of wild berries rich in vitamin C is indicated especially.

The fibre is a very abundant component in these fruits, therefore his habitual consumption during the months in which they abound can turn out to be a remedy to treat the constipation and the intestinal apathy.

The fruits when they are still green, are rich in tannins, which this roughness sensation awards in the palate and they turn out to be astringent and refreshing, but once they reach his finished ripeness, the tannins diminish and the fruits acquire laxative, tonic and depurative properties.

Particularly, the bilberries are ideal to fight infections and to improve the peripheral circulation. The juice of bilberries of the red variety, he exercises a surprising antiseptic and antibiotic action on the causative gérmenes of the urinal infections, especially on Escherichia Coli. In case of cystitis, there is recommended the capture of a big glass full of approximately 300 milliliters of daily fresh juice, during one to three months, like treatment and prophylaxis.

Also, the bilberries contain acid quínico, substance that is eliminated and acidifies the urine, so that he prevents from forming calculations or litiasis renal of calcic phosphate, not of another type of calculations.



CURIOSITIES
The dark fruits with black, reddish or violet colors were already known in Greece and they were named "a blood of titanium". The wild red redcurrants can make a mistake with the snowball (Viburnum opulus), a shrub that grows close to the water, it blooms from June and his fruits are red brilliant. The consumption of raw Viburnum can cause poisoning. There is known the existence of the liquor of sloes from the middle age. The queen Blanca de Navarra being sick took liquor of this fruit with medicinal ends. During the XIXth century the presence of pacharaneras selling sloes on the markets of Pamplona, Navarre, was very habitual.


HOW TO PREPARE THEM

His consumption as mature fresh fruit can be realized accompanied by cream, ice cream or confectioner's. It is used also to do juices, jams, jellies, compotes, syrups and is a magnificent filling for cakes and pastries. It is possible to cook slowly with abundant sugar and little water until his skins exploit and acquire a tone ruby. In the packing industry it takes a very important role as a raw material of jams, of alcoholic beverages and especially like coloring. The juice of his pulp is used in the kitchen sauces preparation or like garrison for meats, especially of fighter. The black and red bilberries can dry off as you spend them, but they lose largely his flavor during the drying. The dry red bilberry is much more sweet than the fresh air and it has a flavor that resembles very much the apples. They can be tasted raw or dipped in sauces and fillings.








TARRINA OF FRUITS


40 ' more 1 or 2 nights of refrigeration
minimum

Ingredients

- 100 grams of black redcurrants
- 120 grams of red redcurrants
- 110 grams of bilberries
- 350 grams of strawberries
- 225 gramosde raspberries
- 4 plates ó 10 grams gelatine in dust
- 250 milliliters of pink wine
- 2 spoonfuls of extrathin sugar
- 1 lemon juice spoonful
- 75 milliliters of purée of raspberries

To select the fruits, to withdraw the stems and, next, to mix them carefully not to spoil them. To set to dip the gelatine. To arrange carefully the fruit in an elongated mold of 13 x 23 x 7 centimeters of one kilo of capacity, arranging the smallest fruit below. In a small ladle, to warm half of the wine until he begins boiling. To withdraw the ladle of the fire and to add the sugar, the gelatine and the lemon juice. To remove to dissolve it well. To incorporate the remaining wine and the raspberries in purée. To reserve 150 milliliters of the liquid and to spill the rest on the fruit. To cover the surface with transparent movie. To place above a mold lightly heavily, one kilo in weight, and to refresh it for one hour, like minimum, or the whole night if possible, until the tarrina is curdled. To withdraw the mold of above and the transparent movie. To warm lightly the reserved liquid and to spill it on the surface of the tarrina. To cover again with the transparent movie and to refresh the whole night. Just before serving desmoldar the tarrina wetting a moment the base of the mold in warm water and overturning it on a source.

To cut the tarrina in tracks, to decorate it with additional fresh berries.



 
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