Those little red balls called cranberries, about the size of a large English pea, are often forgotten unless there is going to be a turkey on the table. While they are most familiar made up as a sauce or jelly, they can provide many additional palate pleasures.
Of all fruits, only three—the cranberry, Concord grape and blueberry—can trace their roots to North American soil.
The cranberry has helped to sustain Americans for hundreds of years. Native Americans, recognizing the natural preservative power of cranberries (benzoic acid), used them in a variety of ways, the most popular being pemmican, a high-protein combination of crushed cranberries, dried deer meat and melted fat. They were also made into a dye for rugs and blankets and as a medicine to treat arrow wounds.
This they passed on to the early settlers who in turn learned how to make use of this native fruit with their own methods. They made the first cranbe...
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