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The Perfect Superfood Stocking Stuffer: Wild Blueberry Barque!

It’s not everyday that you discover a food that rocks your world. Well, a little bag just arrived in the mail and I can barely contain myself. It’s Wild Blueberry Barque! Say what? Yes, this is something I’ve never seen before and I’m telling you, it’s delicious, and some brilliant Maine chef is going to run with this and create something BIG!

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I found this little known gem when I was investigating the wonders of Wild Blueberry Tea, which is made from the anthocyanin-rich Wild Blueberry leaves harvested in the fall on the beautiful red blueberry barrens of Maine. The same little company that makes Wild Blueberry Tea also features a product called Blueberry Barque on their website. So what’s this Blueberry Barque?

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Enter Theresa Gaffney of Highland Blueberry Farm and Highland Organics. Theresa got started in the blueberry business in the 1990s when she married her husband Tom. Together, the Gaffney’s grow organic Wild Blueberries on about 23 acres in Stockton Springs, Maine, where the mighty Penobscot River plunges into beautiful Penobscot Bay. This coastal farm has been producing Wild Blueberries since at least the 1960s, says Theresa.

Highland Blueberry Farm sells most of its berries to Todd Merrill up at Merrill Blueberry Farms in Ellsworth, which freezes them using a cool system called IQF. But the Gaffney’s harvest the leaves too, and over the years, they have tried their hand at a little product development.

“The Native Americans of eastern Maine and Canada have been using Wild Blueberries for a long time,” explains Theresa. “They used the leaves as tea for medicinal purposes and for aiding in digestion and childbirth.” {Tweet This} Wild Blueberries may be small in stature but they are packed with powerful taste, she says. “And now we have the science to prove that they are one of nature’s healthiest foods.”

A few years ago Theresa won a Maine Technology Seed Grant for the research and development of the Whole Plant Wild Blueberry Tea. She worked with the University of Maine Food Science Department on how she might get berries into a dry, stable state. “So, we created a puree by blending the berries in a super-blender,” she explains. Then she spread the blend out and dried it for about 15 hours in an electric dehydrator.

“The result was something crunchy and flat, like a blueberry chip,” say Theresa. A few months later, she was working at the farm with a group of women from Blessed Hope, an organization that helps young women get off drugs and alcohol. “One of the girls said to me, ‘Why aren’t you selling this Barque?’” That’s when the light went on.


“Oh gosh, I love that name,” recalls Theresa, and thus Highland Organic Blueberry Barque was born. As far as Theresa knows, no one else is making or selling it. Theresa sells the Barque, made with 100 percent organic Wild Blueberries, at local farmers’ markets in Maine and from her website, where it has a loyal following.

She says her customers enjoy it as a snack right out of the bag. It makes a great topping for yogurt; it’s great to crumble on salads or with goat cheese. You can also serve it over vanilla ice cream or as a “garnish” on top of a cupcake. I’m no expert chef, but I think there’s something here worth noticing. I’d love to see what some professional chef can create with this amazing food.

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This holiday season instead of a gift of traditional peppermint bark send your friends some Wild Blueberry Barque.

To order Theresa’s Wild Blueberry Barque visit www.organicblueberryproducts.com.

Highland Blueberry Farm and Highland Organics®

Tom & Theresa Gaffney, Owners

PO Box 20

Stockton Springs, ME 04981


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