Joss from In the Kitch wrote today's article and explained the differences between Blueberries and Saskatoon berries. Discover the nutritional differences between blueberries and Saskatoon berries with in-depth comparison article. Joss is a home cook with a strong interest in culinary arts, she makes tasty, home-made recipes with a touch of gourmet flair.
I've always been curious about Saskatoon berries and blueberries. They look very similar but do they taste the same? Can you use Saskatoons in the same applications as you would with blueberries? I'm sure many of you have had similar questions and curiosities. To take the mystery out of these two delicious berries, I'm going to break down the details, going into similarities and differences, so that you can be a pro at telling them apart.
Let’s start with their appearance, as this is where they are most similar to each other and the trait that can cause some confusion.
Mature blueberries will slightly vary in shades of blue/purple. Their color comes from an antioxidant called anthocyanin; the more anthocyanin, the deeper the color. Mature saskatoon berries also have a deep blue/purple appearance, but tend to be deeper and shinier than blueberries.
While these berries are very similar in color, Saskatoon berries are usually smaller than blueberries, which is one way to tell them apart.
The leaves of Saskatoon berries have a jagged edge compared to the smooth edge of the blueberry leaf and are also more wide/round in shape.
You might be surprised by the fact that blueberries and Saskatoon berries actually come from different plant families.
Blueberries come from the Ericaceae plant family. They are a member of the genus Vaccinium along with cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries. You can find them all over the world and the picking season is extended from May to August, a longer picking time than Saskatoons.
Saskatoon berries are more closely related to apples, both of which come from the Rose (Rosaceae) family. They are a hardy plant native to parts of Canada (including the prairies) and the United States. July is prime picking time and they can be found wild or at u-pick farms.
Although their taste can be fairly comparable, you can detect slight differences. Blueberries are described as being subtly sweet and woodsy with a touch of acidity. Saskatoon berries are juicy with a sweet, earthy, nutty and slightly acidic taste. I suggest doing your own taste test with the fresh berries, side by side, so that you can get a good feel for their unique flavour profile. Trying to describe this in words just doesn’t do it justice!
You can pretty much use saskatoon berries in any way that you do blueberries, including eating them fresh or in baked goods. Some of the most common ways are baked into pies, cakes, muffins and pastries, blended into smoothies or cooked into syrups, jams and compotes. For fresh applications, they can both be sprinkled on top of salads, yogurt, porridge or in parfaits. There are many possibilities.
Conclusion (Berries vs. Saskatoon Berries)
Now that you know the differences between these two berries, there should no longer be any confusion in identifying them. Some people prefer the taste of Saskatoon berries vs. blueberries and vice versa. Saskatoons are more common where I live in the prairies and I take my kids to the local u-pick every summer. Which berry do you prefer? Let me know in the comments.