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I have just harvested some of the ripest berries from a row of 6 blueberries of different varieties. They all have a slightly odd taste that I have never detected in store bought blueberries. It is difficult to describe. My wife suggested it almost tastes like a hint of basil, or some similar 'grassy' note. I have read they can taste sour if you pick them too soon, but I wouldn't call this a sour taste.

Is this possibly just what these varieties taste like? Unfortunately I don't have the exact names of them.

What could cause blueberries to taste like this? Could this be a soil, watering or fertilising issue?

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Blueberries do have slightly varying tastes depending on the variety, but you seem to be suggesting you have several different varieties anyway. The other thing that happens, as they get very ripe, is the taste develops and changes slightly. I'd ask you to collect some of the others which are ripe, but perhaps not quite as ripe as the ones you've already picked, just to see if they taste different. Your question contains no information about growing conditions, soil emendment, feeding regime, amount of sun/water, etc., but given you've grown them successfully, I'm assuming they get enough sun/water, the soil ph is correct and they do have a cold period, or you'd be reporting problems with the plants generally.

Bear in mind that the ones you buy in the store have usually not been picked when bordering on over ripe; if they have been, they're often quite mushy compared to ones picked a little sooner. They can be picked when blue and when they come off the bush easily, so try a few which fit this description; they do not continue to ripen after picking (although legend has it that placing under ripe ones in a bag with a ripe apple will work).

  • I tried pulling a few off that were not as ripe (I had to actually pluck them instead of just gently grasping them). These berries did not have the funny taste, so it appears it may be due to them being over-ripe. My 2yr old daughter didn't seem to mind and ate them all up anyway, funny taste or not! – Bogdanovist Dec 10 '13 at 23:16
  • what I find interesting is that you're saying they all tasted funny when fully ripe, even though they're different varieties, which is a bit odd, but maybe they were over ripe. – Bamboo Dec 11 '13 at 15:12
  • They are different varieties, but perhaps not too different? They do all look the same to me. Unfortunately I did not keep the original tags they came with, but they had different names. Perhaps they are all very closely related strains? – Bogdanovist Dec 11 '13 at 21:36
  • @Bogdanovist Well they're all closely related really, and those of us with fewer taste buds might not be able to detect much difference between them in terms of flavour, certainly. – Bamboo Dec 17 '13 at 13:32
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Blueberries - not native to Australia - are unhappy in Australian soil, which is harsh and deficient in almost every nutrient freely and readily available in soils of the northern hemisphere.

Travel to North America and sample the blueberries there to know first hand exactly what I'm talking about.

Adding artificial nutrients to your soil don't work either as others have discovered.

Although every variety of blueberry can hold a slightly different flavour, in Australia, every variety of blueberry has a decidedly foul taste - some more 'rank' than others, but all quite rank nonetheless.

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