The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 07.21.06


Rhapsody in Blue

Let's talk about B and Bs, shall we? I don't mean overnight bed and breakfasts whereby you cuddle up in a Laura Ashley-themed room and read a 1000 page novel on a cold winter weekend in a remote Vermont hideaway, either. No, I speak of the color blue and the world's most wonderful berry.

Could there ever be a more perfect power-packed button of bursting and juicy joy at the ready? Clearly God has bestowed celestial favor on mankind by providing us with this perfect fruit. Blueberries are my favorite and rival a strawberry any day in my book.

Strawberries may dominate in size but lack finesse, I say. This is a case where size does not matter and being small produces a more satisfying and tasty climax. Yes ma'am, blue berries are at the pinnacle of berrydom and when they peak they peak.

Now is the time to make a grunt or cobbler, a pie or a crumble. Added to cereal or as a simple topping over French toast and pancakes, blueberries turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. They will increase your libido too, some say… Now, that's hot. (Sorry, Paris).


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2-teaspoon baking powder
1/2-teaspoon salt
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1-teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1-cup blueberries

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a loaf pan that's about 8x5x3 inches with a nonstick coating. Combine together flour, baking power, and salt until well blended.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until pale. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat well until slightly fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until blended. With the mixer on low, add the flour, vanilla and lemon zest and mix well. Fold in the blueberries.

Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and bake until the cake is golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake, about an hour.

Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes and then invert the pan on a cake rack and tap to release cake. Cool completely on a rack before serving.

EASY BLUEBERRY CRUNCH 4 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4-cup flour
3/4-cup quick oatmeal
1/2-cup butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place blueberries in a 2-quart baking dish; spread out evenly. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over blueberries. Bake for 45 minutes.