Elizabeth Coleman White, the mother of the blueberry - FOX 13 News

Elizabeth Coleman White, the mother of the blueberry

Updated: Aug 30, 2012 04:35 PM EDT
The fat, sweet, modern fruit that is the pride of Jersey towns like Hammonton, the "Blueberry Capital of the World," was born in the Pine Barrens. (©iStockphoto.com/Joe Biafore The fat, sweet, modern fruit that is the pride of Jersey towns like Hammonton, the "Blueberry Capital of the World," was born in the Pine Barrens. (©iStockphoto.com/Joe Biafore
  • Good Day food & recipesMore>>

  • Healthy lunch and snack recipes from Hillsborough schools

    Healthy lunch and snack recipes from Hillsborough schools

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:11 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:11:31 GMT
    Hillsborough County Public Schools District Chef Benjamin Guggenmos shares healthy and delicious recipes on Good Day Tampa Bay.
    Hillsborough County Public Schools District Chef Benjamin Guggenmos shares healthy and delicious recipes on Good Day Tampa Bay.
  • RECIPE: Spinach Brownies

    RECIPE: Spinach Brownies

    Wednesday, May 14 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-05-14 13:01:15 GMT
    The recipe seen at 8 a.m.
    The recipe seen at 8 a.m.
  • Deviled Eggs

    Deviled Eggs

    Wednesday, May 14 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-05-14 13:00:38 GMT
    The recipe was seen at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
    The recipe was seen at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Past stories from SaveurMore>>

  • How to rehydrate dried coconut

    How to rehydrate dried coconut

    Nothing beats the satisfaction of cracking open a fresh coconut. But if fresh coconuts aren't readily available, check out this trick.
    Nothing beats the satisfaction of cracking open a fresh coconut. But if fresh coconuts aren't readily available, check out this trick.
  • Fridge raid

    Fridge raid

    Raiding the fridge for leftovers is a late night tradition.
    Raiding the fridge for leftovers is a late night tradition.
  • Juicy Fruit: Mexico's prickly pear cactus fruits

    Juicy Fruit: Mexico's prickly pear cactus fruits

    In late summer in Mexico, prickly pear cactus fruits, or tunas, are everywhere—a refreshing snack eaten out of hand and a popular ingredient in candies, drinks, jams, and more.
    In late summer in Mexico, prickly pear cactus fruits, or tunas, are everywhere—a refreshing snack eaten out of hand and a popular ingredient in candies, drinks, jams, and more.


By Nick Malgieri

During my childhood in New Jersey in the 1950s, summer was canning time, when the kitchen in our home filled with steam as my mother and grandmother put up jar after jar of tomatoes and fruit jams. Before the work could begin, we traveled from our neighborhood to the farmers' market on the opposite side of Newark. Farmers arrived there late in the evening, after their work in the fields was finished, and we bought tomatoes by the bushel out of the backs of their trucks. The parking area was bordered by what we referred to as "the stores" -- large open sheds where wholesalers sold to food markets. That was where we bought flats of berries. I always angled for blueberries; I favored their sharp-edged sweetness. Besides, I knew blueberries were likely to end up in a pie or cake, which offered more immediate gratification than jars of jam, no matter how delicious. Luckily, the berries were abundant throughout the summer, because New Jersey was their home state as well as mine. 

Chicken recipes at Saveur»

Wild blueberries, which are found throughout eastern North America, grow close to the ground, making them difficult to harvest. Plus, many varieties are overly tart or lacking in flavor. The fat, sweet, modern fruit that is the pride of Jersey towns like Hammonton, the "Blueberry Capital of the World," was born in the Pine Barrens, the coastal forested plain in the south of the state, less than 100 years ago.

16 easy casseroles at Saveur»

The crop was the brainchild of Elizabeth Coleman White. Born in 1871 to parents who grew cranberries, White was raised on what became a 3,000-acre plantation known as Whitesbog, about 30 miles north of Hammonton. Keeping up on farming trends through Department of Agriculture publications, she learned of the USDA botanist Frederick Coville's work in blueberry propagation. In 1911, at White's invitation, Coville moved his office to Whitesbog where, with the help of farmers who provided the best-tasting wild varieties, he developed the first generation of high-bush blueberries. In 1916 Coville and White brought their first crop to market.

The Saveur 100: Recipes and techniques» 

By 1927, White had organized local farmers into the New Jersey Blueberry Cooperative Association. Her determination to domesticate the sweet-tart berries was a gift to those farmers, and to blueberry lovers like me. I think of her, and of those childhood summers, every time I bake a pie or a cake or a juicy slump full of the finger-staining fruit.
 

© 2012 SAVEUR
All rights reserved.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices