the berry latest 4th quarter 2017

US Highbush Blueberry Council Newsletter


Happy Holidays & Greetings of Peace

Tis the season to celebrate, to be thankful for those who have helped along the way, and to remember others.  Thank you for your friendship, for good times, and for highbush blueberries!


- Tom Payne
USHBC Food Industry Consultant




Joy to the world!  The color blue is the symbol for peace.  Happy Christmas! 

Blueberries for Christmas…

Blue Angel. Angel food cake with the bright juiciness of blueberries and chunky blueberry topping.

Gingerbread. Cookies with dried blueberry eyes and a big smile

Reindeer Blue. Blueberry sugar cookie dough and a shiny blueberry nose.



Jingle Blue Rocks. Nutty, rough-rolled, bite size cookie-candies with dried blueberries.

Blueberry Croquembouche. Shaped like a Christmas tree, this classic French Christmas dessert means “crunch in the mouth.” It’s essentially a pile of cream puffs filled with blueberry-studded chocolate pastry cream. Use blueberries to decorate the outside simulating Christmas tree lights.


Blue de Neige. The boule de neige Christmas classic made with blueberries. The white whip cream “snow” covering this domed cake is trimmed with blueberries.

Blueberry Jingle bell buns… Blueberry Crème Brulee… Blueberry Fruitcake… Blueberry Glügg… Blueberry Potato Dumplings… Blueberry Stollen….so many possibilities!



Real Blueberry seal

Any time is blueberry time!  Blueberries are something to celebrate throughout the year -- a good reason to sign up for the Real Blueberries seal to show that you use real blueberries in products – no hidden imitators.  Whatever the occasion, blueberries fit in!







New Year! 

January 1

As we celebrate the beginning of 2018, we wish you happiness and peace in the year to come.  While in the USA New Year is January 1 (based on the Gregorian calendar), we recognize that the first day of the year is also celebrated at other times around the world.  Following are examples.  Wherever you are and whenever you celebrate new year, we send best wishes.

Lunar New Year

February 16, 2018

China (Spring Festival), Korea (Wondan), Vietnam (Tết ). 

2018 is the year of the dog.  It is the 4715th Chinese year, called the year of the “brown earth dog”. The Chinese stem branch calendar contains five colors, five elements and 12 animals.


March 14, 2018

Sikh new year is based on a solar calendar and takes its name from the founder of Sikhism.

Gudi Padwa

March 17, 2018

This Hindu celebration of Maharashtrians and Konkanis is based on the Luni-solar calendar and the position of the moon and the sun for dividing the year into months and days.


March 21, 2018

Persian new year is celebrated on the first day of Farvadin, first month of the Iranian solar calendar.

 Chaul Chnam Thmey

April 14-16, 2018

New Year in Cambodia begins at the end of the harvest season.  In the Khmer language, Chaul Chnam Thmey, means, “Enter the New Year”.


April 13-15, 2018

New Year in Thailand called, Songkran, comes from Sanskrit, and translates to “astrological passage” meaning change or transformation. It marks the beginning of the new solar year.

Rosh Hashanah

September 10-11, 2018

This is the Jewish New Year.  Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” and it is a time of inner renewal. On the second night it is customary to eat fruit.

Nayrouz or Neyrouz

September 11, 2018

Start of the Coptic Egyptian New Year based on a 13-month calendar, which is based on the agricultural year of seeding and harvesting.  The day commemorates martyrs. 

Enkutatash or Inqutatash

September 11, 2018

Ethiopian New Year (Julian calendar) is the approximate date of the end of the rainy season. It is a celebration of life returning to the earth with the exchange of gifts.  While Ethiopian Coptics commemorate martyrs on this day, Enkutatash is associated in Ethiopia with the return of the Queen of Sheba from her visit with King Solomon in Jerusalem (I Kings 10, 11; Chronicles 9) about 3000 years ago. Enkutatas (Inqutatash) in the Amharic language means “gift of jewels” and commemorates the jewels the chiefs gave the Queen to replenish her treasury on she return home.

Islamic New Year

September 11-12, 2018

Called the Hijri year in Arabic, Muharram is the first month of the lunar Islamic calendar.  The first day of Muharram is New Year.  This is a time of remembrance and introspection.  The Muslim new year is September 12 in 29 countries, while in Indonesia it is September 11.

Diwali (India) – Festival of Lights

November 6-10, 2018

This festival celebrates light and goodness.  Diwali comes after the summer harvest.  It is the Marwari New Year (Nov. 6) and Gujrati New Year (Nov 11).  During Diwali, Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities participate in the Festival of Peace -- a time to practice charity and foster kindness.

Blueberries for New Year…

 Blueberry Truffle. Everybody loves truffles; with dried blueberries and crisped cereal, a good opportunity for sharing with others in the new year.

 Auld Lang Sweets. A good translation of the words to the Scottish words "auld lang syne" is "times gone by." So when we sing this song, we are saying, "We'll drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by." Auld Land treats are mini-cupcakes with blueberries in the batter.

Hanukkah – Festival of Lights

December 2-10, 2018

A celebration of survival, this eight-day holiday is referred to as "The Festival of Lights."  It is traditional to eat foods fried in oil during Hanukkah. 

Blueberries for Hanukkah…

Blueberry Cottage Cheese Latkes.  Fold blueberries, frozen or dried, into the batter for this innovative, delicious version of latkes.

 Blueberry Sufganiyot. While latkes are synonymous with Hanukkah for Eastern European Jews, they are unknown to Jews of other cultures. In Israel, the jam-filled, deep-fried sufganiyot is the tradition. Filled with blueberry jam or jelly, it resembles a jelly donut.










The day after Christmas, this holiday is celebrated in Canada, in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth countries. Gifts are given in boxes; in this case packs of dried blueberries and freshly baked blueberry crumpets.  People tend to look for lighter fare on this day after all the holiday feasting.

Blueberries for Boxing Day…

Stilton Blue and Blueberries. The juicy sweetness of blueberries pairs beautifully with the tang of this classic blue cheese.

Blueberry Smoked Whitefish Salad… Blueberry Scones… Blueberry Flax Bars...Blueberry Meringue Pie….




While some people think Kwanza is an ancient African tradition, this holiday began in 1966 to celebrate heritage in the African American community. Each day during weeklong festivities, from December 26 to January 1, commemorates one of the seven principles of Kwanza. And to observe each, is something good with blueberries.

Blueberries for Kwanza…


Day 1.  Unity (Umoja): 

Blue-Streak Cornbread. For breaking bread together. Made with white cornmeal, ribboned with blue from blueberries in the batter.

Day 2. Self-Determination (Kujichaguila): 

Blueberry Power Bars. Bars with healthy grains and delicious blueberries.

Day 3. Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima):

Rolled Coffee Cake. Tasty blueberries and cake come together to form a harmonious duo.

Day 4.  Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa): 

Layered Pastries with Blueberries. Plentiful blueberry filling layered between flaky thin sheets of buttery pastry.

Day 5. Purpose (Nia): 

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce. Add rich, purposeful blueberry flavor to grilled meats, veggies and fruit.

Day 6.  Creativity (Kuumba): 

Sweet Potato Blue Biscuits. Based on a favorite Southern tradition, but with an innovative and delicious blue note.

Day 7. Faith (Imani): 

Seven Day Cake. A faith inspired round blueberry cake, topped with seven candles representing the seven Kwanza principles.


Mark Your Calendar

In the coming weeks, as calendar schedules are set, add these reminders. Get ready to show your blueberries!

January 28

National Blueberry Pancake Day


March 10

National Blueberry Popover Day


April 28

National Blueberry Pie Day


May 26

National Blueberry Cheesecake Day



National Blueberry Month


July 11

National Blueberry Muffin Day


September 2

National Blueberry Popsicle Day


Easy-to-formulate highbush blueberries are available year-round whole, fresh or dried; as purée, concentrate and juice; canned, freeze-dried and preserved. Real fruit, low in calories and virtually fat-free; blueberries are a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.


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Published by USHBC- c/o Thomas J. Payne, 865 Woodside Way, San Mateo, CA 94401 Copyright © 2017