The Cranberry really has a long history in North America and had a significant place in everyday Indian life.
The Cranberry was utilized by the Indians to brighten up food, to deal with wounds from poisoned arrows and as a dye for carpets and blankets. Pilgrim women learned about the Cranberry in the friendly Indians and they soon started to create their own methods of fixing cranberries for their dinner tables. (beverages ) Now at our Thanksgiving Dinner Tables Cranberries are served in different kinds – Whole Berry Sauce, Jellied Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Orange Relish and occasionally within a salad.
Cranberries are also utilized in baked products – they create an superb fruit for Quick Breads plus a fantastic Sauce for Waffles and Pancakes.
Cranberries were called different names by Indians of different locations.
Pakimintzen – New Jersey (emblem of Peace)
The modern day title”Cranberry” was a contraction of berry berry, an early name given to the berries because their pale pink blossoms resembled the head of a crane and Sandhill Cranes were seen in the lowlands eating the berries.
Cultivation of Cranberries started in Massachusetts almost 200 years after the landing of the Pilgrims. In 1816 Henry Hall of Dennis, Cape Cod, noticed that cranberries appeared to grow big and juicier where sand in the dunes blew over the vines. Cultivation now came from this simple observation made nearly 200 years back.
Cranberries grow on peat soil that’s been covered with a 3 inch layer of sand. The vines, planted about six inches apart, slowly spread over the floor forming a thick green carpet. The vines are weeded from the spring, pruned in the fall, fertilized and re-sanded every three or four decades. Birds are required to control the bees and insects pollinate the blossoms.
A good Cranberry is going to have a bounce to it. In the Ocean Spray plant, even if a berry doesn’t bounced it’ll be rejected. Today, these sour berries are used in a lot of dishes along with Cranberry Sauce.