Cranberry History and American Recipes

November 23rd, 2010 - 11:45 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Nov 23 (THAINDIAN NEWS) This week homes all over America will have tables full of food, starting with the traditional turkey, and ending with pumpkin pie. Somewhere in between all that will be cranberry sauce and other recipes made from these tiny red fruit. But how did the cranberry become such a permanent guest of our Thanksgiving table?

There are only three fruits which are native to America, with one of those being the cranberry. Native Americans mixed the berries into deer meat and created a high protein survival food known as ‘pemmicana’. The juice from these little bright red berries was used to make dye for decorations, clothing, rugs, and blankets.

They became to be known as the “cranberry” because the German and Dutch settlers began calling them “crane berry” as their flowers looked like the head and bill of a crane. Cranberries began to be farmed in the 1800’s and were once used by sailors for their vitamin C which fought off scurvy. It is believed that at the First Thanksgiving, native Americans brought cranberry mixtures, which began a very long tradition.

Now these tiny fruits are made into hundreds of different recipes which are as common to the Day of Thanks as the turkey. Many of them can be found at the Cranberry recipes website. Healthy, tart, and sweet, these berries are likely to be around for Thanksgiving for many years to come.

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