How To Use Water To Tell Which Blueberries From The Batch Are Ripe

Blueberry lovers lean in because you are about to learn a trick to help you determine which berries are the sweetest in the bunch. Whether you are making a Southern blueberry cobbler or eating these berries by themselves, this hack is a definite game changer. Do you know how blueberries can be hit or miss? You may eat a few that are sweet and juicy only to find that the next one you plop in your mouth makes you wince when its tart flavor hits your tongue. Well, it turns out you simply need to dump your pint of blueberries into a bowl of water to determine which ones are sweet and ripe and which ones aren't.

Blueberries can be separated into two categories: floaters and sinkers. The sweetest berries will sink to the bottom of the bowl filled with water while those that are not fully ripe will float to the top. Why does this happen? Because ripe blueberries have a greater sugar content than those that are unripe. This makes them denser than water, causing the blueberries to sink.

Store the floaters

But this handy trick has a benefit beyond helping you ascertain which berries taste the best. It is also a spot-on indicator of which berries need to be used first and which blueberries have a longer shelf life. Those blueberries that float to the top can be saved and stored in the refrigerator to be used within the next couple of weeks. Of course, this rule doesn't apply to white or green blueberries. These were picked too soon and will not continue to ripen. Just toss them. But those berries that are already blue and plump will continue to sweeten up.  

In the not-so-distant future, there may be a machine that does the sorting for you before the blueberries make it onto grocery store produce shelves; there is a hydrodynamic blueberry sorting apparatus being designed to do just that. However, until that happens, remember a bowl of water is your best friend in helping to find the sweetest blueberries for your batch of muffins or blueberry pie.