Bilberry Exchange Rate Is At An All Time High!
A bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a close relative to the blueberry but the difference being that the bilberry is smaller, more tart in flavour, has a red flesh and native to Europe whilst the blueberry is bigger, sweeter, has white flesh, and native to the America’s.
They are delicious berries that make wonderful pies and tarts whilst also having great healing benefits for treating digestive and circulatory issues. Back in the day, they were a great source of income in the area for those who would head to the hills and pick bucket loads for market. Today, we still like to exchange our bilberry pickings, but instead of for money, we do it for ice cream…..
Hufenfa’r Castell ice cream shop in Harlech make bilberry ice cream during the picking season and as it always sells out, they welcome fresh bilberries in exchange for ice cream. So once you’ve picked your punnet / bowl of bilberries, make sure your offering is leaf and stem free and take them down to Hufenfa’r Castell. They will weigh your bilberries and give you ice cream credit in line with the weight of your pickings.
So head for Coed Y Llety Walter woods on the way upto Cwm Bychan. Once through the gate, take the first left up the path and look down and you’ll see them everywhere – make sure you fill your bowl, Ive heard that the bilberry exchange rate is at an all time high!