Featured Fresh Pick - Cranberries
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Featured Recipe: Cranberry Cornbread Dressing
The cranberry is one of only three fruits native to North America that is commercially grown. The only others are the blueberry and Concord grape. Cranberries are a very picky crop, as they require very specific conditions to grow. They need acidic peat soil and sand, as well as an adequate supply of fresh water and an unusually long growing season, lasting from April until November. The winter months are an important component to growing cranberries, as the fruit requires a long, chilly dormancy period to mature fruiting buds. All of these requirements come together in unique places called bogs, created during the last ice age, and the region best known for bogs is Cape Cod, Mass.
This is not the only place in North America where cranberries are produced. Cranberry bogs can be found in several states along the Eastern seaboard and Pacific Northwest. In Canada cranberries are grown in several of the Maritime provinces, as well as Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Cranberries are packed with a variety of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants yielding enormous health benefits. They are also a highly versatile fruit that can be used in recipes for every meal of the day, not to mention healthy snacks and desserts. Their signature tart flavor adds an unmistakably delicious flavor to dishes, but of course are a wonderful treat straight from the bog or in the form of juice.
Did You Know?
- Some cranberry vines in Massachusetts are well over 150 years old and are still functioning today.
- Cranberries are very lightweight; 333 cranberries may seem like a lot, but they only weigh about one pound.
- Cranberries are able to float and bounce in the water due to small pockets of air within the berry.
- On average, there are about 200 cranberries in a can of cranberry sauce.