Huckleberries are a type of fruit that range in color from bright red to dark blue or purple. Red huckleberries have a tart flavor while blue and purple varieties are sweeter. Although huckleberries are similar to blueberries in both flavor and appearance, huckleberries have a more floral taste and are usually sweeter than commercial blueberries. Huckleberries bear seeds when ripe, lending them a crunchy texture. A ripe huckleberry is spongy in texture, while under ripe berries are firm.
Huckleberries are well suited for baking and cooking. They are often used in pies, muffins, pancakes, cookies and breads. They may be used in jams and syrups alone or paired with other berries. Fruits that complement huckleberries include figs, strawberries, lemons, oranges and cranberries. Spices such as cardamom, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg pair well with huckleberries.
Native to North America, huckleberries are resistant to cultivation and are usually found in the wild. Huckleberry bushes grow best in full shade and can reach a height of ten feet. Seasonally, huckleberries are available in summer months. A variety of animals including deer, birds, bears and rodents use huckleberries as a source of food. It is estimated that huckleberries account for one-third of grizzly bears' sustenance.