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Friday, 27 August 2010 16:34

History of Cranberries - September 2010

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History of Cranberries

The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America's three native fruits that are commercially grown. 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.
The name "cranberry" derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, "craneberry", so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. European settlers adopted the Native American uses for the fruit and found the berry a valuable bartering tool.
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.
The cranberry is a relatively small, red berry which grows on low-hanging vines in temperate zones in many regions of the United States and other parts of the world. Cranberry is a member of the same family of plants as bilberry and blueberry. Cranberry can be taken as a juice, the whole berry, or from an extract.
For maximum health benefit, cranberry juice should be unsweetened. It is a refreshing drink. Unsweetened cranberry juice tastes slightly sour but for medicinal purposes, 2 ounces of cranberry juice diluted in 8 ounces of water is recommended. It is good for your overall health.

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