It’s All About the Food: Cranberries

| Food For Thought, Nutrition

Winter is just around the corner as the days grow shorter now. All the berries are gone for the season except the ones in my freezer, but there is still one variety in season: the marvelously deep red cranberry, which like so many berries has many nutritional attributes. The cranberry’s tartness and unique flavor make it one of my favorites. I love the sour taste of biting into one in its crunchy raw state. I prefer cranberries served with as little sweetener as possible. The cranberry is a cousin of the blueberry, and is a native of North America that is grown in both Vermont and Massachusetts. It has been around for several thousand years but not in its cultivated state. Only in the last few hundred years—since the early 1800s—has it been cultivated and grown, nearby and across North America. Wild cranberries were presented by the Native Americans as a welcoming gift to the pilgrims in the early 1600s. Eastern Native Americans referred to them as sasumuneash. Their original English name, “crane berries,” came about because their blossoms resembled the neck and head of the cranes that often visited the cranberry bogs.