The cranberry is a
small sour fruit. It is so sour that most people can't
stand to eat fresh cranberries alone. Cranberries contain
edible seeds and plenty of air. Cranberry juice has been
shown to reduce bladder infections in a nursing home
environment. Cranberries are popular as juice, dried
fruit, and a jam or jelly called cranberry sauce — all
with added sugar of course. One single grower's
cooperative, Ocean Spray, controls 70% of the cranberry
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Ripe cranberries will
bounce if they are in good condition. They should be shiny
and plump and range in color from bright light red to dark
red. Shriveled berries or those with brown spots should be
avoided. Cranberries do not ripen after harvest.
Store fresh cranberries
in a tightly-sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. As
with all berries, if one starts getting soft and decaying,
the others will quickly soften and decay also. Be sure to
sort out the soft ones if you plan to store them for more
than a few days. Fresh cranberries may last up to 2 months
in the refrigerator. Cooked cranberries can last up to a
month in a covered container in the refrigerator. Washed
cranberries may be frozen for up to 1 year in airtight
No matter what
preparation method you choose, cook cranberries only until
they pop because overcooking gives them a bitter taste.
Since cranberries are almost 90% water, do not thaw frozen
cranberries before cooking them. Thawing will cause the
fruit to break down, resulting in soft cranberries.
Cranberries may be baked with a sweetener to make a
topping or sauce. They are also good chopped with oranges
to make a relish.
goods, first slice the cranberries open. Add all sugar
from the recipe, and probably quite a bit more. Let this
mixture soak in the refrigerator so that the sugar gets
into the cranberries.