Tastes of the States

 

Rhapsody in Blue

Unlike sweeter versions found elsewhere, a Maine blueberry pie is slightly tart. It should also be bursting with native fruit from low-lying bushes in the Down East hills. To celebrate this tongue-tinting, antioxidant-rich food staple, the villagers of Union and Machias compete to see who can host the more impressive blueberry festival every August. We, of course, are impartial, but note that Union may have a slight edge—it’s here that Maine’s official Wild Blueberry Queen is crowned yearly. (Duties include handing out free pies to festival-goers.) That’s no small honor: More than 75 million pounds of the fruit is harvested here annually, making this young "royal" the ruler of the largest wild blueberry kingdom in the world.

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