Gifting Goes Wild: Four Fab Finds for a Blue Christmas
|A Maine Wild Blueberry Wreath celebrates the influences of Washington County’s wild blueberry harvesting industry. Courtesy of Maine Made Christmas.
Wild blueberries – sweet, delicious, and packed with powerful antioxidants – they are part of holiday-ready homes, not just in Maine and Canada but across the nation. If they aren’t part of your celebration, they should be. Blues do heavy lifting during the season as the perfect ingredient for the sweet, the savory, and everything in between. And, gifts that feature wild blueberries send a message that the recipient is as unique as what’s in the box.
Whether your love for wild blues cleaves toward the traditional – say, blueberry pancakes on Christmas morning – or the more enthusiastic (like the Maine Wild Blueberry Wreath pictured above from Maine Made Christmas), you can incorporate this beloved berry into your holidays. These four wild blue finds are a great start, whether you are gift shopping, entertaining, or in need of an exceptionally sweet treat.
Enjoy the season!
1. HoneyMaker Blueberry Mead
HoneyMaker Mead is handcrafted in Maine and uses the natural ingredients of the state – notably, locally sourced honey – to create its complex flavor. To make HoneyMaker Blueberry Mead, organic wild blueberries infuse a blueberry essence and a rose-colored hue to the mead, and the result is an aperitif that serves as a distinctive alternative to rosé.
Wild Cocktail Tip:
Lovely alone, cocktails are a creative way to enjoy mead. Try HoneyMaker Blueberry Mead in a Nor’Easter, a refreshing cocktail any time of year that combines Cold River Blueberry Vodka and Bar Harbor Blueberry Syrup – a true taste of the coast!
2. Pemberton’s Spicy Blueberry Steak Sauce & Marinade
This superbly spicy, savory version of steak sauce takes flavor to new heights when meat, chicken, or fish are involved. Its use of wild blues makes more traditional sauces seem old-fashioned. It was developed by a retired Maine police chief and perfected by Pemberton’s Gourmet in Gray. It recently received a seal of approval from Portland Press Herald’s food writer Meredith Goad. Spicy Blueberry Steak Sauce & Marinade imparts a subtle flavor to steak and chicken (even salmon) and works as a kicky marinade. Pick it up for the meat lover in your life at Pemberton’s Gourmet, where you’ll also find Blueberry Salsa and some mouth-watering ideas for giving your sauce a try.
3. Wild Maine Blueberry Tart
The art of the tart is not lost on wild blueberry lovers the world over. If you’re looking for a sensational dessert for a holiday party, hostess gift, or a taste of home to arrive at a far-flung relative’s door, iGourmet.com comes through with their Wild Maine Blueberry Tart, a decadent dessert made with fresh Maine blueberries, lime curd and a touch of coconut. This taste-of-harvest-season treat arrives frozen anywhere you wish.
For some, it’s a stocking stuffer, for others it’s the main event – chocolate, that is, a gift giving staple for all seasons. Wild blueberries create a sweet fusion with chocolate that local chocolatiers find it impossible not to take advantage of.
Exhibit one: Len Libby’s Maine Wild Blueberry Clusters. Go wild and add Blueberry Caramel Popcorn from the Maine chocolatier for a unique take on the state’s favorite flavor. You can also opt for Bar Harbor Jam’s Milk Chocolate Covered Blueberries, a sweetly sensational example of how this company uses wild blues in their wares. Finally, get your sweet on with Wilbur’s Chocolate Covered Blueberries – these dried blueberries dipped generously in white chocolate are tinted for their true blue look.
Baking for the holiday season? Make sure to keep Wild Blueberries Recipes close at hand. You’ll be prepared for seasonal surprises with everything from appetizers to cocktails.