“Blueberries” on Mars!

Berry Bowl
Berry Bowl

Check out this photo released by NASA on March 18, 2014 from the landing site near the Mars Rover.  It is titled “Berry Bowl!”

By the way blueberries are formulated into the feeding program researched by NASA for manned Mars missions in the future!

USHBC Continues Processed Blueberry Efforts in India

The fresh season is complete and and all are talking about the Master Chef Brar and his wonderful blend of blueberries in East-West! Now USHBC is back to work on the food industry and we have just completed two industry activities in Chandigarh and Pune. We are meeting with food industry research and development at some of the leading companies in the regions and offering frozen samples and technical assistance and advice.

The pattern: one 30 lb case for familiarization, then some lab work and scale up to six or more cases for processing. Some of the companies we have worked with in the early stages of our sampling have scaled up to commercial purchases from the USA. This is what it is all about! USHBC thanks the USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for funding our sampling program. We also thank USDA-FAS in New Delhi for arranging events and opportunities for us to interact with the food industry in Punjab and Pune! More to come!

New to the Blueberry Family!  USHBC even suggested the name!  Check out the Unilever Hindustan Website.  They are one of the largest food processing conglomerates in India and many more blueberry developments to come!

Promising import statistics.   Note, a lot of product is transshipped from Dubai and Singapore and does not show up in US export statistics.

Supply Side West

This year the NABC/USHBC meetings are held October 7-9 in Las Vegas.  This is about the same time as the Supply Side West October 5-9 at the Mandalay Bay.  Supply Side West is a show and exposition for the nutraceutical business. You will see suppliers from around the world especially far off lands in Africa, Asia with new plant substances with ethnobotanical value.  Tried and true blueberries will also be there!


See you in Vegas!

Vegas Baby!!!   The excitement is building for the North American Blueberry Council and US Highbush Blueberry Council meetings in fabulous Las Vegas October 7-9 at the Monte Carlo. Knowing I have a bit of experience in Vegas — I am getting a lot of of requests for tips on where to eat!  Here is my short list.

#1 Metro Pizza.

This is my all time favorite pizza place in the world including Italy.  John Arena original from New York, is a serious pizza person.   John is an authority on all things pizza and conducts workshops and seminars.   He knows how to make pizza the right way.   I like the shop on Tropicana across from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  It has a mural on the wall with tributes to some of the best pizza parlors in the USA.   The Pizza Hall of Fame is at the shop at the New York Casino not far from the Monte Carlo.  All of the pizzas are different, simple and excellent. It’s all about the crust…and the sauce and the toppings follow.

#2 Original Tommy’s Hamburgers.

This is the original burger joint from LA that has been copied all over.  You will find: Tommys, “Tom-e’s,” “Tomys” “Tommis,”  and all sorts of other fakes.   But Tommy’s with the 60’s looking shack, you cannot miss the real thing.   Their motto — If you don’t see the shack — take it back!  Tommy’s locations are located all over the LA area and they have barely moved outside of the basin, so when the new Vegas location was opened, it was quite an event!   What makes Tommy’s special — hamburgers topped with chili, french fries with chili, chili with chili!   7079 W. Craig Road, Las Vegas   702-207-6361

#3 Peace Ethiopian Market & Cafe.

4850, Tropicana, Las Vegas 702-906-1438. It may surprise you that there are several great  “East African” restaurants in Vegas.   Ask any taxi driver and you will find one fast!   We have Ethiopian, Eritrean, Tigrian, Somali.   (Somalis have the best goat!)   My favorite for a late night (After 2:00 am) Ethiopian snack is the Peace.   Try the Fir Fir which is like an Ethiopian Burrito with Injira and a meat or veggie stew inside.   If you want elegant Ethiopian dining head over to the Abyssinia which is in the same strip mall. 4780 W Tropicana, Las Vegas, 702-220-5305.

#4  Indian.

Now this will take a bit of research.  There are dozens of Indian restaurants in Vegas and all are ok.  For a safe bet:  The Gandhi.  4080 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109.

#5. Snacks.

Try Hooters Casino — Actually this is one of the most “wholesome” places in Vegas!  Go to the cafe next to the “chicken wing” place and order the Volcano of Nachos.  Yes — about two feet high pile of tortilla chips with a a “lava stream” of nacho cheese.   One of the wonders of the world.  Bring about ten guests to consumer the Volcano!’

#6. The Bacon Breakfast Buffet at Sunset Station Casino in Henderson.  (No explanation needed)

#7. Seafood City.

This is a Filipino Supermarket near UNLV and at the deli they serve huge plates of Chinese and Vietnamese Food!    One plate will feed a family of 4.    The noodles are superb!

#8.  Vegas Chinatown.

You got Pho, Thai, Malaysian. and Chinese of all sorts.   My favorite is the Kung Fu Plaza.

#9. Hot Dog Stand at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. (Pawn Stars!)

Good place to just watch the crowd!

#10.  Todai Seafood Buffet.

No visit to Vegas is complete without the pilgrimage to the king of Seafood Buffets!  You got sushi, sashimi and all other favorites but what draws the crowd — the snow crab and king crab legs and fresh shrimp and shellfish.  It is absolutely amazing to see guests consuming their weight in crab legs.   The Vegas location is at the Plant Holywood.   Not easy to find so call and get directions.

Our Canadian friends may ask — are there any Tim Hortons in Vegas?   Sorry none in Vegas!  But try O’Face Donuts downtown.  They are big fans of blueberries!  124 S 6th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101   Not far from the Gold and Silver so blow off the hot dog idea, get a dozen blueberry donuts and enjoy the show!

Poi Blueberry Granola from Hawai’i!

Poi Blueberry Granola from Hawai’i!

Polynesian Innovation!

Check out the new product from Taro Brand in Hawai’i. Poi as all of you who have visited the Islands will know is a pulverized root of the native taro plant. It is a purplish mashed potato looking staple that is enjoyed with raw fish and all sorts of other Island delicacies. Now the leading brand has developed this innovative combination:

Poi Granola Bowl.

It is described on the package as an “all natural probiotic snack with fresh blueberries!

Poi (pounded kalo) or taro plant) is believed to have the greatest life force of all food; a means of survival for the Hawai’i people. Poi is a local superfood that is fat free, low in calories , contains complex carbs and natural probiotics. The Hawaiian people have fed poi to their families (from infants to elderly) for over 1,600 years.

Ingredients: Taro, Water.
And now — Fresh Blueberries!

Blueberry Beauties in Korea

Blueberries are considered a “beauty from within” fruit in Asia.  What better way to demonstrate beautiful blueberries!  This event was held at a major supermarket chain in Seoul on July 15, 2015.

Turkey Loves Blueberries

Turkey Loves Blueberries

Turkey is the home of many fruits and nuts and they are serious about dried fruit.  Now they have aken to dried blueberries. Take a look at this wonderful product in the market in Yalikavak.on the Agean Coast.
Thanks Jeannette for forwarding this photo!

Importers call dried blueberries: “blue gold!”

Trendsetting Store Chain Promotes Fresh Blueberries

USHBC kicked off retail promotions in Japan with activities at Seijoishi Stores throughout Japan.  Stores are located in upscale neighborhoods and other chains noticed the activity.

Point-of-Sales Material:

Photo Examples
Point-of-Sales Material

Blueberry Bubbles from Poland!

Check out the latest new product from Poland! You may ask:

1. Why the Statue of Liberty?
Have no idea.

2. What is a blueberry bubble?
See all of small type on the package!


Master Chef Ranveer Brar is busy in India demonstrating innovative uses of fresh and frozen blueberries which blend east and west!

All of the 5 minute videos are on Youtube and on the USHBC India Website:   (make sure to drop a comment at the bottom of the page if you like the recipe).

Blueberry Pie – Indian Style!:

Blueberry Shirkand (Indian Sweet with strained yogurt)  & Pizza (Naan):

Blueberry Thandai (a cold drink prepared with almonds and spices and now blueberries:

Double-Baked Muffin:

Pickled Chicken and Blueberry Chutney:

Blueberry Parfait:

Blueberry Gulab Jamun (Indian sweet) Cheesecake:

DPRK Blues

After Iran, and Cuba — you knew this one was coming.   Yes, there is a connection between the DPRK — Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — also known as North Korea and blueberries. The tallest mountain in the region on the Chinese border is just covered with native wild blueberries.   for centuries Koreans have gone to the forest to pick and in recent times have started to make Paketu Insam a blueberry Whiskey!

Here is the famous Paeketu Insam! If this does not work for you…

Iran Loves Blueberries

Each year I attend the Gulfoods Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.   Right across the straights lies the Islamic Republic of Iran.   We do not think much about this country of almost 80 million — which is the 18th largest country on earth, with many thousands of years of civilization and culture and yes — some of the food in the world like my favorite fesenjoon (pomegranate and walnut chicken).

Now bring on blueberries. Back to the Gulfoods.  We meet visitors from all over the Middle East and North Africa.   Each year we see more and more Iranians.

They flock to the blueberry booth and over and over again — proclaim their love for blueberries. Besides great culinary specialties, Iran has a burgeoning food industry.   This includes food service, confectionery and their famous Persian ice creams, sweets and bakery products.   They even have their own berry called the barberry, which is sour red berry which is dried and supposed to be good for all that ails you.  Confectioners seem to prize the blueberry and I have been communicating with artisan ice cream makers for years on making blueberry products when the time is right!

Here are a couple examples of locally made blueberry products!  Oh well, it is a good start!