It’s tough to name something that is “Canadian Food” because the country is so large and each region is different. In Nova Scotia we have a few traditional recipes, for example seafood chowder and blueberry grunt would be in every Nova Scotian cookbook.

Loka Snacks recently competed in a blueberry dessert challenge with BC high bush blueberries and the first thing that came to mind was modernizing the traditional blueberry grunt recipe and while I often profess that I don’t like dessert I thought Dave nailed this as he smoked the high bush blueberries and it was a sweet and savory dessert.

BC High Bush Blueberries

Blueberries are such a big part of my childhood memories in Nova Scotia, late-July and early-August we would always go to the U-Pick and take home as much as we could. A few weeks of every year my breakfast consisted of blueberries in milk.

Yet I had no idea there were different kinds. Nova Scotia produces low bush blueberries while BC berries are high bush varieties, which are slightly more plump. And while low bush are found in farmers markets, most of what we see in the grocery store are high bush berries. To be honest I didn’t really notice a difference in flavour with the BC blueberries, they were as delicious in milk as I remembered Nova Scotia blueberries.

When Is Blueberry Season?

Late-July through September is blueberry season. You may find blueberries at the supermarket sooner but they are most often from the US shipped in. We prefer to wait a couple extra weeks for Canadian growers, Ontario doesn’t really produce a lot of blueberries but British Colombia produces the majority in Canada.

What is a Blueberry Grunt?

It’s basically a blueberry cobbler – dumplings cooked in stewed fruit and topped with whipped cream, it’s very similar to the Quebecois chômeur. It’s easy to cook on a stovetop or even on a campfire.

Dave wanted to modernize it a bit to reflect what we serve at Loka Snacks and so he took this rustic dish and decided to cold smoke the blueberries and maple syrup on hickory wood chips . To give it a punch he dehydrated mint and blueberries and combined it with Vancouver Island Salt to create blueberry mint salt.

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Blueberry Grunt

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Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Fresh BC blueberries, smoked
  • 1 Cup Maple syrup, smoked
  • 2.75 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 Cup whole milk
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 4 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
  • large pinch of salt
  • Vanilla Goat Yogurt
  • 0.5 Cup Goat yogurt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Icing sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix together blueberries and maple syrup in cast iron pan. Warm over low heat.
  2. In a bowl mix shortening, sugar and eggs. Add milk, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined.
  3. Turn off heat on blueberries and maple syrup. Spoon batter over blueberries until evenly distributed. Place in pre-heated oven (350F) and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
  4. While baking, in a food processor blend goat yogurt, icing sugar and pure vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Remove baked grunt, sprinkle with icing sugar, drizzle with vanilla yogurt. Serve immediately.

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This is an excerpt from the article A Taste of Nova Scotia: Blueberry Grunt which originally appeared on http://www.baconismagic.ca/.