Archive for September 1st, 2012

Blueberry Blessings

Did you know that different types of blueberries have different types of blessings?  I recently wrote to the Star-K kashrut organization with this question:

“I found the concept of different brachos on cranberries based on the plant’s inherent height very interesting. Here in Maine and New Hampshire the “wild” blueberries are lowbush type, meaning they grow less than 1′ high (tiny berries and the type sold frozen by Wymans), and the commercial blueberries (the type grown on pick-your-own farms or the type you’d buy at a nursery or supermarket) are the highbush type, which have larger berries.  Are the brachos ha’etz  (“Blessed are You, G-d, that blesses the fruit of the tree”) for one and ha’adama (“Blessed are You, G-d, that blesses the fruit of the earth/soil”) for the other?”

I received the following reply from Rabbi Mordechai Frankel of the Star-K:

“Yes, there are different types of blueberries.  Here is a quote from ‘The Halachos of Brochos’ by Rabbi Bodner (page 394):
“Blueberries commonly available in America (i.e., Vaccinium corymbosum – the packaged blueberries one buys in a supermarket) grow on tall bushes and thus require a borei pri hoetz.  Wild blueberries, however, grow on bushes which are often lower than 9 inches.  If one picks blueberries from low wild blueberry bushes he should make a borei pri hoadama.”
Keep well.”