Cranberries are perhaps more than any other type of fruit. Cranberries have long been associated with Christmas traditions and family health and wellness, from Cape Cod to Washington State. When it comes to healthful refreshment, its unique health advantages and refreshing, tangy taste put it in a class by itself. In this section, you’ll learn about the cranberry’s history, how it’s collected, and how it looks in the bog.


berries served in bowl

Since their discovery, cranberries have been given a variety of names. They were known as “sassamanash” by Eastern Indians. The Cape Cod Pequots and the Lenni-Lenape tribes of South Jersey dubbed them “ibimi,” or bitter berry. The Wisconsin Algonquins called the fruit “Atocha.” But it wasn’t until German and Dutch settlers coined the term “cranberry” to describe the vine blooms’ resemblance to the neck, head, and bill of a crane that the cranberry was born. 

The cranberry is one of only a few fruits indigenous to North America, along with the Concord grape and blueberry. According to the Pilgrims who settled in Massachusetts, cranberries were plentiful. Cranberries may have been eaten at the first Thanksgiving feast in Plymouth, according to legend. Cranberry recipes have been around since the 1700s.

Long before the Pilgrims came in 1620, Native Americans combined deer meat and mashed cranberries to make pemmican a convenient food that could be stored for long periods of time. Cranberries were also thought to have medical properties, and medicine men employed them in poultices to remove poison from arrow wounds. Its juice was used to colour rugs, blankets, and garments using natural dyes. It was a peace sign for the Delaware Indians of New Jersey.

As a result of the high concentration of PACs, or proanthocyanidins in cranberries, Native Americans employed them to cure swelling. Cranberries’ PACs have distinct characteristics and provide numerous health benefits, including being potent anti-inflammatory agents that aid in the maintenance of a healthy gut and urinary system.

Cranberries had the highest content of phenols, plant-based antioxidants that have been demonstrated to protect against heart disease and cancer, according to a study of 20 different fruits. These days, your doctor may even recommend cranberry juice as a cure for urinary tract problems. According to a 2016 study, drinking eight ounces of cranberry juice per day can cut the risk of symptomatic urinary tract infections by 40%.

Fun Facts


colourful berries

  • Cranberries are one of the six fundamental symbols of Thanksgiving.
  • Cranberries contain pockets of air and are 90% water. They float because of the air pockets.
  • John “Peg Leg” Webb, a New Jersey cranberry producer, observed that cranberries bounced in the 1880s. Cranberries are additionally bouncy due to the air pockets that they contain.
  • Every year, Americans consume 400 million pounds of cranberries. During the week of Thanksgiving, 20% of that quantity (80 million pounds) is devoured.
  • “The Cranberries,” an alternative rock band from Limerick, Ireland, is a good example.
  • If all the cranberries produced in North America were lined up, the line would span 565 times from Los Angeles to Boston!! That is a significant amount of cranberries.
  • Only a few important fruits are native to North America, including cranberries. The blueberry and Concord grape are two others.
  • The cranberry was given its name by Dutch and German settlers who referred to it as “cranberry.” When the vines bloom in late spring, the light pink petals of the blossoms curve back, resembling the head and bill of a crane. The term was eventually reduced to cranberry.
  • Cranberries were transported by American ships during the days of wooden ships and iron men. American sailors yearn for cranberries as much as the English did limes. Scurvy was avoided thanks to the cranberry’s abundant supply of vitamin C. Cranberries were used to produce pemmican, a type of survival cake popular among Native Americans. They used the fruit in a variety of other ways as well.
  • In 1816, the first cranberry cultivation was recorded in Dennis, Massachusetts.

cranberry bog

berries harvested in farm

  • Cranberry recipes stretch back to the early 1800s in the United States.
  • The Pilgrims may have offered cranberries at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, according to legend.
  • Approximately one million pounds of dried cranberries were required annually by American troops during World War II.
  • Even in the summer, the hardy cranberry vine thrives in conditions that would kill most other crops: acid soil, limited nutrients, and cold temperatures.
  • Planting a bog requires one tonne or more of cranberry vines per acre.
  • Cranberry blossoms last 10 to 12 days, depending on the weather.
  • Cranberries do not grow in water, contrary to popular perception. They thrive in sandy bogs and marshes. Because cranberries float, when the fruit is ready for harvesting, certain bogs are inundated.
  • If all of North America’s cranberry bogs were combined, they would cover an area roughly equivalent to the size of Nantucket, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington are the primary producers of cranberries. Chile, Quebec, and British Columbia each have 5,500 acres under cultivation. In the United States, there are roughly 1,000 cranberry farmers.
  • More than 200 billion cranberries were harvested in 1996, around 40 for every man, woman, and child on the earth.

Pragya Joshi


Tags: Fruits

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *