Origins of Cranberry
Cranberries belong to the Ericaceae family and as the name suggests, are a type of berry. The fruit grows on the Macrocarpon plant which supports creeping stems to hold elliptical leaves, producing bell-shaped flowers in June. The crimson berry is native to Canada and Northern-central America. Growing conditions are fairly precise and depend on a combination of factors including acid peat soil, a substantial volume of freshwater and a growing season that continues from April to November.
The Cranberry was a staple item amongst Native Americans in the 1500s, harvested for food, drink and therapeutic purposes. The Cranberry was so popular that the Americans even used the berry in an energy bar-like food called pemmican, serving as a compact nutritional source during the winter months. Henry Hall became the first human being to successfully cultivate the berry in 1816 and ever since we have been growing the berry across the world for various products. The berry is especially popular at Christmas time because of their vibrant, shiny red colour which is associated with the tones of Christmas. Cranberries became popular over the winter period because their late harvesting period meant that the berries stayed fresh enough to adorn the table and tree, and held up for the entire twelve days of Christmas or longer.