When you buy fresh blueberries, look for berries that are firm, dry, plump and smooth-skinned, with a pale, silvery surface coating and no leaves or stems. Blueberries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black. Reddish blueberries aren’t ripe, and won’t ripen once they are picked.
Avoid blueberries that look soft or shriveled or have any signs of mould. If you see juice stains in a container of blueberries, the fruit might be bruised.
Refrigerate fresh blueberries when you get them home, either in their original packaging or in a covered bowl or container.
Only wash your blueberries just before you eat them or cook with them! The pale, whitish coating that leaves the blueberries a dusky shade of blue is called the bloom. It is a natural waxy coating produced by the berries that acts as a barrier, protecting the blueberries from insects and bacteria. It also helps to seal in the fruit’s natural moisture. Isn’t Nature clever?
Fresh blueberries should be eaten within 10 days of purchase (that’s the easy part!).