Bluer, firmer blueberries are the latest result of research at the Department of Agriculture.

The "new bluer blueberry" also will have thicker cell walls which, according to USDA, will make it "easy to harvest mechanically (which is an asset to the grower)."

No mention is made of taste. Will the firmer blueberry be like the firmer tomato, also developed for mechanical harvesting? Will it receive the same low marks from consumers the new tomato has received?

Maryland crab meat, available in cans at the first counter of most supermarkets, has been pasteurized. The method, according to the Maryland Seafood Marketing Authority, permits the crab meat to last "for months at a time" under the proper conditions. The proper conditions are storage in unopened cans at 33 to 35 degrees.

Since home refrigerator temperature is more likely to be around 40 degrees, the crab meat will keep there for weeks, rather than months.

A pound of crabmeat will serve four people as a main course when used in this way: CRISFIELD CRAB FONDUE (4 servings) 1 pound crabmeat 8 ounce package cream cheese 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated 1/2 cut milk 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 1/4 cup dry sherry Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste French bread cut in 1-inch cuber

Remove cartilege from crab. In a fondue pot combine cheeses, milk, lemon, sherry, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until blended and smooth. Add crab and heat; stir occasionally until hot and bubbly.

Spear the cubes of bread will fondue forks and swirl in the crab mixture, lift and eat.

If fondue thickens too much, add a little more milk or sherry. If foundue pot is not available, mixture can be cooked over low heat in heavy-bottomed saucepan and then transferred to chafing dish for serving.