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Americans Consume 400 Million Pounds Of Cranberries Each Year

Another seasonal holiday staple graces the table each year and National Cranberry Relish Day makes sure you’re prepared. On November 22nd make sure you’re stocked and ready. Get tasting the many recipes out there and pick your favorite one!

  • Believed to have originated in the New England States during the early 1900s, cranberry relish is a traditional part of many families’ Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Each Thanksgiving, Susan Stamberg provides National Public Radio listeners with her mother-in-law’s recipe for cranberry relish sauce. The American radio journalist, an American radio journalist and Special Correspondent for NPR and guest host for Weekend Edition Saturday, has been doing this since 1971. What’s unusual about the special recipe, known as Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish, is that horseradish is one of its principal ingredients. Craig Claiborne originally published the recipe in his food column in 1959.
  • A barrel of cranberries weighs 100 pounds. Give or take a few, there are about 450 cranberries in a pound and 4,400 cranberries in one gallon of juice.
  • Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. A perennial plant, cranberries grow on low-running vines in sandy bogs and marshes.
  • If you strung all the cranberries produced in North America last year, they would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times.
  • In the 1880s, a New Jersey grower named John “Peg Leg” Webb discovered that cranberries bounce.
  • Algonquin Indians were among the first to harvest wild cranberries. They used them for food, medicine, and as a symbol of peace.
  • There are several theories as to the origin of the name ‘cranberry.’ One is that the open flowers look like the head of a crane; another is that cranes like to these sour berries.
  • Americans consume 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. 20 percent are eaten during Thanksgiving week.
  • In 1994 the Cranberry was made the official state berry of Massachusetts.
  • The cranberry is one of three fruits native to North America. The other two are the Concord grape and the blueberry.
  • There are approximately 333 cranberries in a pound, 3,333 cranberries in one gallon of juice, 33,333 cranberries in a 100-pound barrel.
  • Cranberry juice contains a chemical that blocks pathogens that cause tooth decay
  • 90% of all cranberries are wet harvested. The bog is flooded then a great big eggbeater knocks the berries off the vine. They float up to the top of the water where they are scooped up.
  • Cranberries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month, or in the freezer for up to nine months.
  • In 1868 a standard 100 lb. barrel of cranberries sold for $0.58 in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Massachusetts-based Ocean Spray, the largest producer of cranberry products in the U.S., produces about 79 million cans of jellied cranberry sauce each year, 85 percent of which are sold during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
  • Jellied cranberry sauce from a can (the log) is most preferred by consumers totaling 75% of overall cranberry sauce sales.
  • It takes about 200 cranberries to make one can of cranberry sauce.
  • Canned cranberry sauce got its start in 1912 when cranberry growers Marcus L. Urann and Elizabeth Lee started working together to create a jellied sauce, which was concocted by boiling the bruised berries from the bog (say that 3 times fast).
  • Cranberry sauce in a can became a Thanksgiving staple across the country by 1941.
  • John Lennon confirmed in a 1980 interview that he repeated the words cranberry sauce at the end of the song “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
  • Cranberries were originally called Ibimi.  The Pequot Indians of Cape Cod called the berry ibimi, meaning bitter berry.
  • Cranberries are one of the only fruits native to North America.  The two others cultivated here are the blueberry and Concord grape.


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