Sophisticated Cooking With Wild Blueberries

Notable Maine chef Melissa Chaiken uses Wyman’s wild blueberries in this recipe for mostarda to top savory pork chops and cornmeal johnnycakes.

Wild Blueberry Mostarda made with Wyman's wild blueberries served over New England Johnnycakes
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Melissa Chaiken, chef and co-owner with Laura Peppard of The Fiddlehead Restaurant in Bangor (84 Hammond St. 207-942-3336), builds her menus on whatever foods local farmers and producers happen to be providing. “I cook the kind of food I like to eat,” says Chaiken, who was raised in Tokyo by a Malaysian mother and American father. Drawing on the cuisines of her family’s cultures, she creates comfort meals with a twist — dishes like cornflake-crusted chicken with cheddar-chive waffles or a burger topped with pickled fiddleheads and a creamy-sweet dressing. Chaiken cooks with Wyman’s wild blueberries in unexpected ways, like this down east take on mostarda, an Italian condiment traditionally served with boiled meats. This summer she’s pairing the tangy, sweet, and savory condiment with a thick, juicy pork chop from A Wee Bit Farm, in Orland, and johnnycakes made with cornmeal from Morgan’s Mills, in Union.

Wild Blueberry Mostarda

4 cups Wyman’s wild blueberries
(otherwise, use local fresh)
2 cups golden raisins
1 cup candied ginger, rough chop
3 shallots, minced
½ cup white wine
½ cup water
½ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, or whole grain
3 tablespoons butter

Simmer everything together except the mustards and butter for 10 minutes or until fully incorporated and the liquid from the blueberries is cooked down. Stir in mustards and butter, then simmer until a jam-like consistency is attained. Serve atop grilled pork chops or meat of your choice or with cheese and charcuterie.

New England Johnnycakes

2 cups cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups boiling water
½ cup milk
clarified butter, duck fat, or bacon grease,
for frying

Mix all dry ingredients together, then stir in boiling water to form a paste. Slowly stir in just enough milk so the texture is like thin mashed potato (you may not need the entire ½ cup). Melt fat in skillet, then cook the johnnycakes as you would pancakes.

For more wild blueberry recipes, including Wyman’s Blueberry Pie, visit