- The cranberry, also known as the bounceberry and mossberry, is a short woody plant with evergreen leaves and tart red fruit.
- Cranberries belong to the genus Vaccinium just like blueberries, bilberries, lingonberries and huckleberries.
- The cranberry is just one of three fruits native to North America. Blueberries and Concord grapes are the other two.
- The cranberry was used by Native Americans for three purposes, food, dye and medicine. They mixed deer meat and mashed cranberries to make pemmican. They made a red dye from crushed cranberries. They used stewed cranberries to treat arrow wounds.
- The name cranberry was given to this plant because the Pilgrims believed the plant looked like the head of a sandhill crane and was originally named ‘craneberry.’ Over time, the ‘e’ was dropped.
- Cranberries are rarely eaten raw. They are most often consumed as juice, sauce or dried fruit.
- Depending on the weather, cranberry blossoms last 10 to 12 days.
- Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes. Because cranberries float, some bogs are flooded when the fruit is ready for harvesting.
- Cranberries are sometimes used to flavor wines, but do not ferment as naturally as grapes, making them unsuitable for the traditional winemaking process.