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Sunday, 3 August 2014



The English word cranberry is the shortened version of craneberry, which came from the plant's flowers that dip down and resemble the head of a crane.

The early American settlers discovered Various Indian tribes had different names for the pink small berries they were fond of. However it was the Pilgrims' name that stuck. They called the fruit "crane berry" because the cranberry plant's tiny stem and pink blossoms resembled the neck, head, and beak of cranes.

The American Indians brewed cranberry poultices to draw poison from arrow wounds.

The Indians believed the cranberry has special powers to calm the nerves.

The pilgrims ate cranberries fresh, ground, or mashed with cornmeal and baked into bread. Maple sugar or honey was used to sweeten the berry's tangy flavour.

Early French voyagers exploring Wisconsin waterways bartered for cranberries with the Indians.

Colonial American sailors took barrels of cranberries to sea with them for the prevention of scurvy.

In approximately 1816 a Cape Cod, Massachusetts farmer, Henry Hall noticed that cranberries were larger and juicier where a layer of sand from the dunes blew over the vines. He used this sand layering technique for his cranberries and became their first cultivator.

Cranberry picking on Cape Cod in 1906

Cranberry sauce was introduced by General Ulysses S. Grant who ordered it served to the troops during the siege of Petersburg in 1864.

Cranberry sauce was first commercially canned in 1912 by the Cape Cod Cranberry Company which marketed the product as "Ocean Spray Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce."

The well-known Ocean Spray cooperative was formed in 1930, in Hanson, Massachusetts, by three cranberry growers who wanted to expand their market for cranberries.

Competitive eater Juliet Lee set a world record by eating 13.23lb of cranberry sauce in 8 minutes on November 22, 2007.


Cranberries don't actually grow in water, as many people think, but rather in sandy bogs and marshes. The fields are flooded during picking to make mass harvesting more efficient as the berries float above their vines.

Cranberry vines can grow indefinitely; some commercial vines in Massachusetts are over 150 years old.

Ripe cranberries can bounce like a rubber ball.

So much sugar is added to cranberry juice that in calorie content and sugar content, it is equal to sodas.

US production of cranberries was 709 million pounds in 2009.

The top cranberry producing states are Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.

The United States and Canada account for 98% of global cranberry production.

Americans eat a fifth of their annual consumption of cranberries on Thanksgiving Day.

Cranberries are excellent at fighting urinary tract infections. This is due to an abundance of chemicals called proanthocyanidins, or PACs for short.

Cranberries will bounce when they're ripe. This is because of the small air pockets inside the fruit.

Sources Food For Thought by Ed

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