While they may look strikingly similar, there are a number of differences between huckleberries vs blueberries. These two berries may both belong to the same family, but close relatives are not identical. What are some of the primary differences between blueberries and huckleberries, and how can you learn how to tell them apart?
In this article, we will compare and contrast everything there is to know about huckleberries vs blueberries so that you can gain a full understanding of both fruits. In addition, we will go over how to identify these berries in the wild, as well as what they both taste like in detail. Let’s get started and learn about blueberries vs huckleberries now!
Comparing Huckleberries vs Blueberries
|Shrublike bush grows single berries rather than in clusters. Huckleberries can be red, black, or blue in color, inside and out. Hard seeds inside the fruit.
|Shrublike bush grows clusters of blueberries, often high yielding. Blueberries are only found in blue or purple hues, with white, green, or yellow insides. Soft seeds inside the fruit that you likely won’t notice.
|Primarily found wild in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Used in a number of culinary recipes, but can be difficult to find as they are not often sold in stores. Grizzly bears love huckleberries!
|Found worldwide and used in a number of culinary applications, including jams, juice, baking, and more. Easy to find and utilize, blueberries are prized for their antioxidant properties and much more.
|3-7, depending on variety
|3-7, depending on variety
|Taste and Texture
|Similar to a blueberry, but often more tart. Depends on the color as to what flavor you get; red huckleberries are more tart and sour while blue and black huckleberries are sweeter.
|Sweet, floral, and slightly acidic. Juicy and plump, blueberries work well in a variety of things because of their mild sweetness.
Key Differences Between Huckleberries vs Blueberries
There are many key differences between huckleberries and blueberries. While they belong to the same family, there are genus differences between blueberries and huckleberries. In addition, huckleberries come in more colors compared to blueberries. The blueberry is more readily available around the world compared to the relatively wild huckleberry. Finally, the majority of blueberries are sweeter than the average huckleberry.
Let’s go over all of these differences and similarities in more detail now.
Huckleberries vs Blueberries: Classification
One potential difference between blueberries and huckleberries is something that you likely don’t know, and that is their scientific classifications. While both huckleberries and blueberries belong to the Vaccinium family, their classifications differ from there. For example, huckleberries are known as Vaccinium membranaceum, while blueberries are known as Vaccinium corymbosum.
Huckleberries vs Blueberries: Description
There are some subtle differences in the physical description of blueberries and huckleberries, especially if you happen to see either one growing in the wild. For example, blueberries grow in clusters, while huckleberries form individual berries that are more sporadically placed. In addition, depending on the variety, blueberries grow taller than huckleberry bushes, on average.
When it comes to the berry itself, huckleberries come in more colors compared to blueberries. You can get red, black, and blue huckleberries, while blueberries are only a blueish purple shade. The seeds inside of a huckleberry are much harder compared to the soft seeds of the blueberry. Finally, the interior of a blueberry is either green, yellow, or white, while huckleberries are purple or blue inside.
Huckleberries vs Blueberries: Uses
Many people use huckleberries and blueberries interchangeably in culinary applications, given their similar flavor. However, blueberries are more readily available compared to huckleberries, found worldwide. Huckleberries are rarer to find in stores, and are often foraged in the wilds of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. You can visit the grocery store anytime you need blueberries, but the same can’t be said for huckleberries!
In addition to this, blueberries are prized for their antioxidant properties, something that huckleberries don’t share to the same degree. Huckleberries may share certain properties with the superfood blueberry, but, given their relative unavailability, blueberries are used more often than huckleberries. In fact, huckleberries can be very difficult to find in the wild due to them being a favorite food of the grizzly bear!
Huckleberries vs Blueberries: Hardiness Zones
Both huckleberries and blueberries grow in similar hardiness zones. Depending on the variety, huckleberries and blueberries grow in hardiness zones 3 through 7, though some blueberry types have their preferences. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on growing either of these two fantastic berries!
Huckleberries vs Blueberries: Taste
A final difference between huckleberries and blueberries lies in their taste profile. The blueberry has a sweet and floral flavor, something that the huckleberry shares to an extent. However, the huckleberry differs in taste depending on the color of the berry, while blueberries have a similar flavor across all varieties and types.
For example, red huckleberries have a much more tart flavor compared to black or blue huckleberries, and they are more tart compared to all blueberries. Depending on the time of year or when they are picked, blueberries have more juiciness inside compared to the average huckleberry. For the most part, however, both of these berries make fantastic additions to just about any baked good or smoothie!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Nature's Charm/Shutterstock.com
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