Who Invented Cranberry Sauce?

  • About 79 million cans of jellied cranberry sauce are produced annually by Massachusetts-based Ocean Spray, the country’s largest manufacturer of cranberry goods, with 85% of those cans being sold throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
  • Customers prefer canned, jellied cranberry sauce (the log), which accounts for 75% of all sales of the condiment.
  • One can of cranberry sauce requires roughly 200 cranberries.
  • Marcus L. Urann and Elizabeth Lee, two cranberry farmers, collaborated to make a jellied sauce in 1912 by boiling the damaged bog berries. This was the beginning of canned cranberry sauce (say that 3 times fast).
  • Canning cranberries made them available all year round because they were previously only available for a brief period in the fall.
  • By 1941, canned cranberry sauce had become a Thanksgiving mainstay all over the nation.
  • Why is it moving? Because cranberries contain a lot of pectin, which makes the fruit set “gel. When preparing jams or jellies, pectin is a crucial element to include.
  • In a 1980 interview, John Lennon said that he repeated the phrase “cranberry sauce” towards the song’s conclusion “Infinite Strawberry Fields Listen to what he had to say about it!

We can all agree that jellied cranberry sauce from a can, whether you like it or not, is here to stay and has earned its proper place on our tables and in our hearts, even if it is only occasionally.

The first cranberry sauce was created when?

The first known cookbook written by an American, The Art of Cookery by Amelia Simmons, published in 1796 includes a recipe for cranberry sauce.

Although it’s possible that the Pilgrims were aware of the wild cranberries that grew in the Massachusetts Bay region, it’s improbable that cranberry sauce was one of the dishes offered during the First Thanksgiving supper. No authentic sources regarding the First Thanksgiving feast mention cranberries. The only items described are venison, waterfowl, wild turkey, and “Indian corn.” The rest is still up for debate among food historians. Stuffings were a frequent manner to prepare birds for the table in the 17th century, despite the fact that they are not referenced in early sources. [2] Cranberries may have been utilized in the stuffing recipes, according to a “Thanksgiving Primer” issued by the Plimoth Plantation, but it is unlikely that they would have been turned into a sauce because sugar was extremely limited. [3]

In Hanson, Massachusetts, cranberry sauce was first made available to customers in North America in 1912.

[4] In 1941, canned cranberry sauce entered the market, enabling year-round sales of the good.

[5] Turkey, pork, chicken, and ham are just a few of the meats that can be paired with cranberry sauce.

In the United Kingdom and Canada, cranberry sauce is often consumed with turkey during Christmas or Thanksgiving, and it is rarely consumed or served in other settings there.


How did cranberry sauce come to be associated with Thanksgiving?

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension claims that cranberries were used by American Indians as a food source, a fabric color, and a form of medicine. Only three commercially available fruits that are native to North America include the cranberry (the other two are blueberries and Concord grapes). In fact, cranberries can be found in both hemispheres, from the polar regions to the tropics. It is thought that the pilgrims and the American Indians would have eaten cranberries at the first Thanksgiving because of its significance and quantity in the 1500s.

It’s a common misconception that cranberries grow in water. On a perennial, low-growing vine, cranberries are produced. Cranberry vines have a lifespan of more than a century and can reach lengths of up to six feet. Cranberry vines love the impermeable layers of bogs comprised of sand, peat, gravel, and clay. Cranberries are frequently “wet harvested,” which means the bogs are inundated with water after the dark red, ripe berries have fallen off the vines, when they are being picked for juice or canning. The water-floating, ripe berries are drawn into a device for processing. Visit the popular among K–12 educators Wonderopolis website to see a brief video of a wet cranberry harvest.

A range of instructional programs are provided by Michigan State University Extension to help consumers and producers who are interested in eating healthily and developing Michigan’s local food system.

We consume cranberry sauce because…

The process of stewing cranberries in water and sugar, which is what we now consider traditional cranberry sauce, has been documented as far back as the 1630s. Cranberries were first grown in America in the 1800s, and during a process called as dry harvesting, the berries were manually plucked. This method is still used to harvest the fresh cranberries you see at the shop, however it was time-consuming and laborious. Cranberry sauce had become such a staple of American cuisine by the time of the Civil War that General Ulysses S. Grant ordered that soldiers receive them as part of their Thanksgiving feast. Someone discovered in the early 1900s that flooding cranberry bogs caused the berries to loosen from the vines until they fell off and floated to the surface. This process, known as wet harvesting, requires less time and labor than dry harvesting. Around the same time, Ocean Spray started selling the cranberry sauce cans that may have been a Thanksgiving staple in your childhood.

Whatever cranberry recipe you choose to serve for Thanksgiving, it may be the oldest item on your table.

Why doesn’t cranberry sauce qualify as a sauce?

This cranberry sauce is jellied. It is a custom in America. Its existence is debatable, just like so many other American customs, including Thanksgiving itself. It is an engineering achievement. A culinary marvel, to be sure. Some people believe that defaming the cranberry is an abomination.

This year’s Thanksgiving will be different since we will be spending it in the relative safety of our individual pods. However, jellied cranberry sauce will have the same appearance. It constantly does. In these turbulent times, it may sway, but it won’t break.

What is jellied cranberry sauce, and is it sauce?

No. Yes, again. Jellied cranberry sauce does not fit the category’s typical definition of “sauce.” What’s Cooking America, the country’s “most dependable culinary resource since 1997 (according to itself),” defines a sauce as a “liquid or semi-liquid [food] created to improve the appearance, flavor, and palatability of other foods, making them easier to digest and more healthful. My personal go-to source for culinary information, Wikipedia, concurs that “sauces are not typically consumed by themselves, and that a liquid component is necessary.

Cranberry jam in a jelly

this magnificent, jiggling store-bought log does not match the following requirements: It is undoubtedly a solid. In fact, one of its key characteristics is that it does not unintentionally leak into other meal components. This is due to the fact that it is a solid, which by consensus definition excludes it from real sauce-hood and sets it apart from its more pure sibling, whole cranberry sauce.

If you followed the instructions on the back of a bag of whole cranberries, you would probably make whole cranberry sauce, however you can alternatively buy it in a can. The whole-berry version can be spooned out like a sauce over other meal components, unlike the jiggling cranberry towers. The “cranberry sauce” variety uses entire berries. The jelly cylinder is only eligible for sauce status by family ties, much like a legacy applicant at Yale.

However, it is adored as a distinct food group rather than just a sauce. In fact, it differs so greatly from the whole-berry version that many Thanksgiving hosts offer them both side by side in separate plates. Deep down, they are really not that dissimilar from one another: Entire cranberry sauce does contain whole berries. The procedure for making jellied cranberry sauce is much the same, but it is carefully strained to remove natural components like seeds that would interfere with its perfectly silky texture.

Where did it come from?

Native Americans, who picked the wild berries and used them for a variety of purposes, including making textile colors, medicines, and food, are responsible for the invention of cranberry sauce in general, not jellied. In a report from the colonies published in 1672, the Washington Post claims that “Indians and English use it extensively, boyling them with Sugar for a Sauce to eat with their Meat, yet it did not become popular as a side dish with turkey until more than 100 years later.

Amelia Simmons recommends serving roast turkey with “boiled onions and cranberry sauce” in her 1796 cookbook American Cookery. (The Post says that she suggested pickled mangoes as a substitute.) However, it wasn’t until General Ulysses S. Grant served it to Union forces during the siege of Petersburg in 1864 that it was became a mandatory part of Thanksgiving dinners.

According to Kellyanne Dignan, director of global relations for Ocean Spray, “it sort of reinforces its place as a part of Thanksgiving nationally. She notes that even now, just five states produce cranberries: Wisconsin produces the most, followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. (Additionally, Quebec and British Columbia.)

All of that merely serves as background information for what transpired less than 50 years later: the invention of canned jellied cranberry sauce, which is evidence of the inventiveness of Americans.

Marcus Urann, a lawyer who left his first job to acquire a cranberry bog and later became one of the founders of what would become Ocean Spray, started canning the fruit in the very early 1910s in order to sell the seasonal fruit all year round. According to Robert Cox, co-author of Massachusetts Cranberry Culture: A History from Bog to Table, the cranberry harvest lasts six weeks. “Before the invention of canning technology, the food had to be consumed right away, and the market was essentially nonexistent the rest of the year. Then all of a sudden there was.

In 1941, the jellied log was made widely accessible. History of Thanksgiving was altered forever. Thanksgiving week is when Ocean Spray, presently the largest cranberry grower in the world, sells about 80% of its jellied sauce. (Thanks to a popular recipe for “Ultimate Party Meatballs,” there are additional minor peaks around Christmas, Easter, and the Super Bowl.)

Americans love buying jellied cranberry sauce

Every American family receives one of the 70 million jellied cranberry sauce cans that Ocean Spray produces, according to Dignan. Three cans of jellied are sold for every one can of whole-berry sauce, demonstrating how much more popular it is. There are 220 cranberries needed for each jelly can.

Dignan ponders that the use of store-bought cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving by three-quarters of Americans is interesting.

It is the one item on the table that the vast majority of people actually want to purchase.

Compared to roasting a turkey, making stuffing, or baking a pie, making cranberry sauce is a lot simpler. It is perhaps even simpler than making your own salad, which is supposedly how people celebrate on the West Coast in a healthy way. A saucepan, some sugar, and fifteen minutes are required. Yet we prefer to purchase it.

Here is CNN’s Chris Cillizza offering his passionate opinion:

But really, the canned cranberry sauce is the greatest. https://t.co/73a5G4i61n

Are cranberries in a can healthy?

Once more, antioxidants are strong promoters of health and longevity and may shield you from cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the ingredients in cranberry sauce can protect you against the harm caused by free radicals, which can promote the growth of cancer.

Why is the label for Ocean Spray’s cranberry sauce inverted?

You might be wondering why the labels for Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce are upside down, whether you’ve noticed it or not.

The manufacturer claims that this is on purpose so that you and your local grocery shop may store the cans with the side you open facing down. It’s easy to understand why.

According to Ocean Spray, this results in the contents settling and a top air bubble forming.

In this manner, you can use a knife to break the vacuum within the can when you open it at the bottom of the label.

The cranberry sauce will then effortlessly fall out in one piece, landing on your serving dish.

The bad news is that you might not be able to get your hands on cranberry sauce if you haven’t already done so. Supply chain problems are making it tougher to find, just like with many other things.

A short while later, the Prince’s secretary informed Mr. Rider in a letter that “they will not be turned away” if cranberries were sent to her Royal Highness at Buckingham Palace. Therefore, Queen Victoria had to like them. As soon as the information spread, devoted subjects started to request them. The “cranberry king of New Jersey” was Rider, who owned 500 acres of cranberry bogs in Hammonton.

The Ocean Spray Corporation, one of the local cooperatives for cranberries, operates a plant in Southern Jersey on property that once belonged to Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon I, Emperor of France. After his brother was overthrown, Joseph, the king of Spain and Naples during Napoleon’s rule, traveled to Bordertown in search of safety.

Ocean Spray has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Joseph Bonaparte. It appears that a railroad that had originally acquired title to the land through a merger in 1872 borders on two strips of land that surround the Bordentown processing plant. As a right-of-way for the first New Jersey railroad, one of the merging parties had acquired the land from Joseph Bonaparte in 1836.

When Bonaparte sold the land to the railroad, he included a “reverted clause” that stated that if the railroad stopped using the property, it would revert to Bonaparte’s estate. Ocean Spray wants to make sure it now has a clear title to the land it purchased in case there are any Bonaparte descendants still alive, even though legal researchers claim there are none.

The cranberry has undoubtedly been New Jersey’s most intriguing fruit throughout