Wild blueberries are one of the prime treasures of Tropoja – according to Tropojans. They grow only at higher altitudes, are really super tiny and are therefore (not to mince words) pretty damn difficult to collect. They’re also generally only available locally for a few halcyon weeks in September, with whole families uprooting themselves to invade the bjeshk to collect them. For those weeks, everyone has blue-stained fingers, and – if they’re lucky – blue-stained mouths.
Blueberries do however survive freezing pretty well, so we packed our fridge with half-kilo boxes. We admit they’re expensive (in local terms), but that’s the normal price plus something added because we picked through them, removing extra leaves, unidentifiable bits, sticks and whatever other weird stuff we found before freezing them, leaving them delicious and ready to consume (after defrosting).