English Name: Cranberry
Botanical Name: Vaccinium macrocarpon
DESCRIPTION: An American bog berry. Its astringent taste makes it a great breakfast fruit. It has a sour taste and grows on a small bush.
ORIGIN: Cranberries are one of the most unique fruits in the world. One of only three fruits native to North America, Cranberries grow in the wild on long-running vines in sandy Bogdan and marshes. It was the early German and Dutch settlers who started calling it “crane berry” because of the flowers resemblance to the head and bill of a crane. And finally, that was the name that stucked. Cranberries are primarily harvested in the Northeast, they are also grown on other parts of North America, like Wisconsin and the Pacific Northwest, and in Chile.
For Eastern Indians, they were “Sassamanesh” Cape Cod Pequots and South Jersey Leni – Lenape tribes called then “Ibimi” or bitter berry. The Algonquins of Wisconsin dubbed the fruit “atoqua”. According to history, some called it Isquo : Wonderberry. It was Native Americans that first took the advantage of the cranberry’s many natural attributes. Sailors used cranberries as a source of vitamin to prevent scurvy.
But even with its many benefits & uses cranberries weren’t farmed on a large scale until 1800s. Growers picked the berries by hand later more efficient dry harvesting technique was introduced by flooding the bog with water the cranberry’s buoyancy allows it to float to the surface, where they are collected.
NATURAL BENEFITS: The cranberry has a very high medicinal value. It is rich vitamin C, it is used to draw poison from arrow wounds in the native America. It improves the immune system, decreases blood pressure and more. Some evidence suggests that the polyphenols in it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) , blood pressure and more.
Some evidence suggests that the polyphenols in it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) also the high level of proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries helps reduce the adhesion of certain bacteria (UTI) in the urinary tract walls of the bladder.
It is mixed mashed with deer meat which serves as food called pemmican.
The cranberry red juice was used by native American as a natural dye for rugs, blankets and clothing.
Cranberries are part of Thanksgiving celebrations in which they are prepared in forms like cranberry sauce, cranberry drinks are dried cranberry added to stuffing, casseroles or dessert.