18 responses to “Vaccinium macrocarpon cultivar”

  1. bev

    Daniel, thanks very much for thinking of us!

  2. Christie

    Thanks for the great post on cranberries- can’t wait for the rest of the plants and medicine series! =)

  3. Dr. P. Salamon

    Daniel, thanks very much for your photos

  4. Elizabeth Barrow

    Wonderful, informative post for Thanksgiving. Thank YOU!

  5. ana

    I don’t know the medicinal propreties of Cranberry & really ripe apples cooked and blended together, but the resulting color & taste are to die for!

  6. Jane Levy Campbell

    Delicious photograph. My own stove top was also awash with cranberries when in a moment of inattention my cranberry pear sauce boiled over. I have been delighted to be able to buy local Oregon cranberries in recent years. There is less negative environmental impact when we can buy locally and avoid the added carbon footprint of having our produce shipped from clear across the country. Good for local economies and for agro-biodiversity too.

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    I agree, Jane. I also took photos (with too poor skies to share) showing the encroachment on these cranberry farms from commercial / industrial zoning. You can get an idea by clicking on the maps link above the photograph and zooming out a bit to see what the fields are surrounded by.

  8. Stan Flouride

    Flooding bogs does three things. It brings the ripe berries to the surface for ‘easy’ harvest, protects the low-growing plants from frost, and frozen, provides a wonderful winter playground for ice skaters.
    One of the hardest jobs I ever worked was the hand harvesting of cranberries from the small bogs in southern New Jersey. Too small to be worked by modern machines they were picked by local crews as a part-time gig and chance to pick up some ‘quick’ cash in the fall.
    Wearing heavy rubber hip waders we would walk through frigid 3′ (1m) deep water with screen-bottomed baskets, scoop them up and deftly flip them into a small scow floating behind us. But that deft flip was an acquired skill and few of us youngsters managed it without very cold water running down our arms and into our waders.
    There was also the danger of underwater crags, stumps, and holes. A misstep would flood your waders with that freezing water.
    A fire was kept burning on shore and you learned to bring extra socks and pants when you went to work.
    Like most agricultural jobs it was horrible work but the kind I think everyone should do at least once in their lives to appreciate where their food comes from.
    The ripe berries are separated with an interesting method that dates back to early days- they are bounced on conveyor belts. Depending on ripeness they bounce into different bins alongside the conveyor belt.

  9. Eric Simpson

    Great wallpaper photo Daniel.
    My family’s cranberry tradition is a bit different than most: we don’t make a sauce, but rather a relish. We grind cranberries, apples, walnuts and sometimes mandarines together. Very tart, but even better on leftover-turkey sandwiches than a cooked sauce.
    Btw, it’s not the “heath”, it’s the Eric family!-)

  10. phillip

    ‘cran’ of cranberries , cran equals what ?

  11. elizabeth a airhart

    my family treat growing up in nj was a cranberry sherbert
    made in metal trays in the freezer and spooned into little glass cups
    next year we all get to go over the hills to erics house
    thank you daniel and company

  12. Niña Klinck

    We, too, have a cranberry history in my family. We grind the cranberries with orange zest and apples with just a wee sugar and let it sit overnight for the quintessential accompaniment to turkey or ham during the holidays. I used to make a lot of it and can it for the rest of the year.

  13. Deb Lievens

    Great post. I’m on my second day of enjoying cranberry relish. Yum! I make it with the berries stewed with sugar, oranges and their juice and peel and a good 1/4 cup of orange liqueur. Definitely medicinal. Though I grew up with homemade cranberry jelly made in old fashioned molds. I, too, can’t wait for the plants and medicine posts.

  14. togata57

    For many years, my mom made the Thanksgiving treat described by Eric Simpson. Oh boy was it good! Color, taste, texture, all excellent. I loved the stuff. She ran the ingredients through the meat grinder, as this was back in the days before food processors were even a glint in the eye of Oster.
    Philip—the prefix “cran-” is a form of “crane”. Early settlers saw a resemblance between the developing plant and the head and neck of this bird. Also called ‘mossberry’ and ‘fenberry’.

  15. Linda Runnacles

    Living in the UK we don’t have such a long tradition of cranberry eating, so it has been lovely to read all your comments and recipes. Although cranberry sauce has been available here in jars for many years, I first had home made cranberry sauce in 1971 at the home of some American friends living here, with their Thanksgiving dinner – what a difference! Thinking back it must have been quite difficult for them to source fresh cranberries then, but of course they are readily available now and commonly used with the Christmas turkey. Re Stan’s comments about hand harvesting, I can sympathise. I have collected a few on sphagnum bogs in Wales, but it is a hazardous business as you never know when the moss mounds are going to give way or sink, and you don’t how deep the pools underneath are, so I was quite glad when they became more readily available in the shops!

  16. kcflowers

    Besides all the great recipes listed in these posts, I appreciate Stan’s vivid description of how the berries are harvested; the work involved.It is good to know how our food is gathered. Happy Thanksgiving and peace to all.

  17. Gabrielle

    Claire, I’m with you — don’t like cranberry sauce/relish/jam/jelly! My teenage sons make it for the Thanksgiving meal and eat it by the bowlful. Thanks for the informative entry.

  18. Elizabeth Revell

    Thankyou. The cranberry phenomenon is new to New Zealand too, largely since one particular brand began just a few years ago with an ad for the juice: advising us that it was “a little tart” ie not too sweet … my first taste of it reminded me strongly of the juice from bottling red plums without too much sugar – my favourite juice then and now. So the cranberries provide a superb alternative when the plums are out of season and I’ve finished off all my jars of fruit! Mind you, I also love the flavour for its own sake, as do many other Kiwis who have been delighted to expand their taste horizons.
    It’s great to get a better understanding of what went into their production.

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