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 known as dry harvesting, the berries were manually picked. This method is still used to pick the fresh cranberries you see at the supermarket, though 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.
We consume cranberries on Thanksgiving because…
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension claims that cranberries were used by American Indians as a food source, a fabric dye, 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.
Is cranberry sauce a side dish for Thanksgiving?
Turkey and cranberries go together like clockwork. sort of like chicken and lemons. The flavors seem to be a natural match for one another. Because of this, the sauce tastes great spread over leftover turkey in sandwiches.
Here is a straightforward recipe for cranberry sauce that you can simply spruce up with garnishes. Please share your favorite method of making yours with us in the comments if you do!
Is cranberry sauce a Thanksgiving staple?
Should canned cranberry sauce be served at Thanksgiving? Does the food actually go over well?
More than half (51%) of American households plan to include cranberry sauce in their holiday meal, according to an Ipsos survey of 1,020 adults. Whether you favor the traditional canned version or handmade versions, cranberry sauce is a staple at most American feasts.
According to AdWeek, Ocean Spray sells 67 million cans of canned jellied cranberry sauce between Thanksgiving and Christmas, controlling 70% of the market.
However, because of problems with the supply chain, it is more difficult to stock products this Christmas season, and some shops are running low on cranberry sauce. In advance of Thanksgiving, Publix, which has more than 1,280 stores in the southern United States, including Alabama, Florida, and Virginia, began restricting purchases of canned cranberry sauce and some other necessary items, such as jarred gravy and canned pie filling.
According to research firm IRI, cranberry sauce was only offered at 79% of U.S. shops during the week of November 7, down from 89% at the same time last year, according to CNN.
What stands for a cranberry?
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There is a myth among the Lenni Lenape Indians about how cranberries arrived in New Jersey thousands of years ago.
In that story, the enormous mastodon served as the pack animal for all the other creatures but thought of himself as the king of the beasts and revolted, starting a huge fight.
When the conflict eventually came to a close, the Great Spirit smote the participants with lightning. It left the country in ruins and turned it into a marsh. Green plants planted by the Great Spirit covered the ugliness, and these vines later bore cranberries, a colorful fruit.
Today, the Pine Barrens bogs in Southern New Jersey, which are within a short distance from the shore, provide approximately 85% of the state’s cranberry supply.
After New England and Wisconsin, New Jersey is the third-largest cranberry producer in the US.
Cranberries were given a prominent place in Lenni Lenape society. Cranberries were used by the great Sachem of the Delawares to symbolize enduring peace and goodwill at peace festivals, and it was recognized as a symbol of peace. The name “Pakimintzen” for the Sachem translates to “cranberry eater.”
Cranberries were a primary food, medicine, and textile dye for the Native Americans. The earliest settlers were exposed to the berries by amiable Indians, who quickly taught them about its benefits and adaptability.
Cranberries were utilized by the Indians to make pemmican, which was a combination of dried venison, fat, and cranberries. The materials were ground to a pulp, formed into cakes, and baked on rocks in the sun. The Indians also understood how to produce a cranberry poultice that served as a potent remedy for blood poisoning.
Only the cranberry can be found only in North America. In no other country in the world has it ever been grown commercially.
Raking on the flood, which took the role of the manual approach on many bogs in the 1920s, is currently one of the most common ways to gather cranberries in Southern Jersey.
This is accomplished by flooding the marshes, which causes the vines to float to the surface where they are picked up by big rakes with long, curved teeth.
Wetpicking involves pushing water reels over the bog to collect the berries after the bogs have been flooded. This method of harvesting is known as “beating the bogs,” and the water reel is referred to as a “egg beater” since it functions somewhat similarly to an egg beater in the kitchen. The water is stirred up by two sets of rotating reels, which also cause the berries to float free and gather into a red mass.
The “wetpick or waterreel method of hauling in cranberries” is being tested in Southern Jersey; this approach was developed by Wisconsin and West Coast cranberry growers. William S. Haines of Chatsworth, whose 5,000-acre cranberry and blueberry property with more than 700 acres covered in cranberry vines, was a prominent pioneer in the wetpick trials that were initially conducted in New Jersey in 1962.
The Chatsworth property in the Pine Barrens was created by his father and uncle, Ralph and Ethelbert Haines, who gave it the catchy moniker of Hog Wallow. Today, Hog Wallow yields up to 185 barrels of cranberries per acre, with an approximate 40,000 barrel crop per year.
Wetpicking, which allowed Mr. Haines to gather 95% of the berries in less than half the time it required to drypick them, is what Mr. Haines credits for his record crops. The risk of frost damage is also reduced by the earlier harvest.
Wetpicking involves opening a reservoir’s floodgates so that water may fall into ditches and over vines to a height of about 18 inches, just high enough for the water reel or egg beater to function.
Every part of cranberry production has been heavily influenced by New Jersey residents. Martin Decker Jr., an agricultural engineer at Rutgers University, created the cranberry dryer. It is made up of air chambers covered by an inclining screen. The berries are dried before being cooled by the air as they pass through the screen.
an orange Additionally, it must show that it has “the Jersey bounce.” Each fruit has seven chances to pass through four-inch wooden barriers thanks to mechanical separators. Only the firm berries are sent to the screening rooms, where keen-eyed ladies pick out other berries that are below par. Berries that fail to pass the barriers are tossed.
The color of cranberries varies greatly depending on how they were grown. The color tends to deepen the longer the fruit is left on the vines.
From Salem, New Jersey, pickled cranberries were sent to Europe as early as 1700. However, Andrew J. Rider, who eventually founded Trenton’s Rider College, deserves all the credit for turning the cranberry into a global favorite. On a cruise to England, he brought many crates of cranberries. He discussed the fruit with the chef before serving it as sauce to other passengers. He always had a tiny bouquet of cranberries in his buttonhole whenever he showed up on the deck. The miniature bouquets began to be worn by other passengers.
When Mr. Rider wanted to make Queen Victoria a cranberry fancier, he made his greatest effort. She was renowned for disliking publicity gimmicks. Rider made contact with the then-Prince of Wales, afterwards known as King Edward VII, who authorized the shipment of a container to his house, St. James Palace.
A little while later, the Prince’s secretary informed Mr. Rider in a letter that “they will not be turned away” if grapes 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 producing 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 monarch of Spain and Naples during Napoleon’s rule, traveled to Bordertown in search of refuge.
Ocean Spray has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Joseph Bonaparte. It appears that a railroad that had initially acquired title to the land through a merger in 1872 borders on two strips of land that surround the Bordentown processing factory. 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 said that if the train 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 relatives still alive, even if legal researchers claim there are none.
The cranberry has definitely been New Jersey’s most intriguing fruit throughout history, and every fall, when the bogs turn into a “sea of ruby red,” it is an undeniable indication that one of the largest cranberry days of all—Christmas—is approaching.
Was the first Thanksgiving cranberry?
As early as 1550, Native Americans used cranberries as food, medicine, clothing and blanket dye, to cure meat, and to draw poison from arrow wounds. Because of this, according to legend, the first Thanksgiving meal, which was eaten in 1621, included cranberries.
Who thought of making 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.