Cranberries are vine-like plants of the Heath family closely related to the wintergreen and blueberry. Their fruit is used in making sauce, juice, jelly, and pies. The fruit grows in wet peat bogs from North Carolina to Minnesota and northeastward. Its oval leaves are evergreen. Cranberries were first used by Native Americans, who discovered the wild berry's versatility as a food, fabric dye and healing agent. Today, cranberries are commercially grown throughout the northern part of the United States and are available in both fresh and processed forms. American whalers and mariners carried cranberries on their voyages to prevent scurvy. In 1816, Captain Henry Hall became the first to successfully cultivate cranberries. By 1871, the first association of cranberry growers in the United States had formed, and now, U.S. farmers harvest approximately 40,000 acres of cranberries each year.
(Source: Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association, http://www.cranberries.org/cranberries/history.html)
Storing & Cooking Information
Wash and remove their stems.
Refrigerate and use within 3 days.
Pack cranberries into containers, leaving headspace. Cranberries can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Seal containers and freeze for up to 2 years.