- Botanists estimate that blueberries burst onto the scene more than 13,000 years ago, in what is now North America. Native Americans enjoyed blueberries year-round. They dried blueberries in the sun and added them whole to soups, stews and meat, and even crushed them into a powder to use on meat as a preservative.
- Cranberries were first used by Native Americans, who discovered the wild berry’s versatility as a food, fabric dye and healing agent.
- In the USA, Cranberries were first cultivated in the early 1800s and blueberries in the early 1900s.
- Cranberries contain bacteria-blocking compounds that are believed to be helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, and scientists now think this same function may be useful in blocking the bacteria responsible for ulcers and certain oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease.
- Native Americans called blueberries “star berries” because the blossom end of each berry – the calyx – forms a perfect five-pointed star. Tribal elders recounted how the Great Spirit sent “star berries” to ease the children’s hunger during a famine. And according to legend, Native Americans gave blueberries to the pilgrims to help them make it through their first winter.
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Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Every month we feature a new fruit or veggie. Get fun facts, recipes, and more!