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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.



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.


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.


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.


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

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.

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