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An Ode to the Cranberry, 2010

Photo by rjzii via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Discovered in 1427 by Cardinal Joseph Cran, the cranberry is useful for many things. It is delicious. It is tasty. It is tart. It is good mixed with various other fruits. It floats. It is from heaven. It’s amazing canned shape invites my gobbling. It’s juice keeps away urinary track infections.

Cranberries are magical.

More fun facts about cranberries:

  • Cranberry and brain share the same latin root word, cranium. The Romans believed the cranberries tart flavor stimulated the brain.
  • The cranberry has medicinal values. It cures everything from a hangover to gout.
  • Cranberry bogs are protected in Vermont. It is unlawful to visit one without a permit.
  • There is a Cranberry Festival in Iowa in which the Cranberry queen is carried on a litter as citizens stuff cranberries in their cheeks like a hamster.
  • In secret ceremonies, sacrifices are made to the cranberry god in Nova Scotia.
  • It’s a little known fact that the color red in a Canadian Mounties uniform comes from the die of a cranberry.
  • There is even a cult band funded by profits from farmers, The Cranberries.
  • In 2002, George W. Bush invaded Prince Edward Island for the secret stash of the giant cranberry DNA. It’s trade name is nukler.
  • The french word for cranberry is Ponce de León. When boiled, the cranberry releases essential oils originally flowing from the fountain of youth.
  • When John F. Kennedy declared he was a jelly donut in Berlin, the jelly inside his donut was cranberry flavored.
  • At the first Thanksgiving in 1619, the leaf of cranberry trees was rolled and smoked.
  • The female cranberry is separated from the male cranberry in the processing plant. Males are bagged and served fresh. Females are jellied and canned. Left together they would multiply their goodness and overtake the world.
  • Starved for delicious fresh cranberry– Christopher Columbus discovered America. A state secret of Spain, it was recently revealed  that the Columbus party actually had 4 boats. The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria, and the Cranberry.
  • The red in the United States flag… symbolic of the ancient order of the cranberry… 1749. (Betsy Ross was secretary of the order at the time)
  • It is against the law to serve turkey on Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce in the city of Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Up until 1983, cranberries were acceptable currency in Maine.

Oh cranberries… you are welcome in my home all the time. But especially in November and December.

Do you know more fun facts about cranberries?

Ode to Cranberry, 2009

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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