Friday, September 21, 2018

The Huckleberry Confusion

The Huckleberry Confusion—is it a novel? No. It’s just that huckleberry is a slippery word. It refers to various berries of the Vaccinium genus. (Blueberries are also in the Vaccinium genus.) In the western U.S., folks call some wild blueberries “huckleberries.” There are cultivated huckleberries, which are a deep blue and taste a bit less sweet than regular blueberries. (Note that the sign in the picture says they are for cooking.) Some berries called “huckleberries” are red in color. Huckleberry is a common and confusing name—for sure. These may mostly be the same genus, but they are different species.

In between signings at American Library Association in 2011 I was thrilled to find huckleberries at a the Crescent City Farmer’s Market in New Orleans. Unfortunately, because of the rhyme they were in, I had to package them up to take home and combine with the other fruit in a photo for that page. Alas, with all the ALA festivities, I left those huckleberries in the hotel fridge and huckleberries aren’t available here at my market, so they did not make it into Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant. Sorry, huckleberry fans. Here’s my quick snaps of huckleberries in the New Orleans market. 

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