Lingonberry Sounds Foreign

I don’t remember ever eating “lingonberries” when I was young. I never ate lingonberry pops or other treats.

Today, I bought some lingonberry preserves and had to look up lingonberries. They are so popular that my spell check is highlighting them as being spelled incorrectly. If you’ve never had them, here is my take. They taste like cranberries. I don’t have cranberries enough to be able to notice the difference, especially because cranberries can taste different depending on if they are processed with sugar or their freshness.


Lingonberries are not actually cranberries, but belong to the vaccinium family of plants, just like blueberries, huckleberries, and bilberries. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I’ve had a huckleberry or bilberry so I’ll have to hunt those down at some point to see how they taste.

Lingonberries grow naturally in “taiga” also known as a ‘boreal’ or snow forest. According to Wikipedia, “a taiga, generally referred to in North America as boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches. The taiga or boreal forest has been called the world’s largest land biome.”

So, what is a biome? It is “a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g. forest or tundra.” I was thrown off for a minute because microbiome is all of the microbes living inside the human body. I think it is safe to just say that they grow in the forest without getting technical.

Where can I find bilberries?


I grew up in Baltimore and currently live in the Rodgers Forge community just north of Baltimore City.

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