After decades of dieting and mass-produced food, consumers are clamoring for tasty alternatives. According to the Power of Wild, a groundbreaking national study of consumer attitudes, consumers believe Wild Blueberries make a product taste better, in addition to being healthier and more sustainable. “Wild foods are perceived as premium in the context of health and taste benefits,” the research said.
Wild Blueberries stand up against other bold flavors. Wild Blueberries hold their flavor even when they’re cooked alongside other stronger flavors, said Nicole DeBloois, Director of R&D with JMH Premium, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based company that manufactures flavor concentrates, soup bases, sauce concentrates, and RTU sauces.
“We feel like you could pair it with anything and the Wild Blueberry will maintain its distinctive character,” she said. The Wild Blueberry complexity still comes through even when it’s paired with wild game. She made a Wild Blueberry Demi Glace with wild elk. “Wild game has a stronger flavor than some of the standard supermarket meats,” she said. “To have the sweetness, acidity, and bright floral flavor of the Wild Blueberry coming through paired really nicely with heavier, gamey notes of the elk.” Similarly, a puree she developed with Wild Blueberries and hot chiles for a barbeque sauce also was a winner. “When we create a cooked barbeque sauce, it brought out the jammy notes in the Wild Blueberries,” she said. “Barbeque is really trending right now. So, it’s really kind of cool that we can take a trend that’s going on with hot chiles and combine it with something that’s also trending like Wild Blueberries.” And then there was the Wild Blueberry balsamic vinegar sauce that her firm created for soft serve ice cream. “It was awesome,” she said.
Wild Blueberries bring out the best in other foods. Wild Blueberries can also be used to give classic sauces a modern twist, said DeBloois. She developed a Wild Blueberry Glace de Veau—a classic French sauce with veal stock and wine used for braising beef or steak. “Incorporating Wild Blueberries with the wine really boosts the flavors of the other components,” she said. “Taking a classic French sauce and combining it with Wild Blueberries takes something that people have seen and are familiar with and puts it on its head a bit. We thought it was fantastic.”
Editor's Note: This post was sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. To learn more about the flavor benefits of Wild Blueberries, visit https://www.wildblueberries.com/the-better-blueberry/