An Ode to the Cranberry

Thanksgiving season is upon us. And with Thanksgiving arrives one of my favorite foods. The Cranberry.

Discovered in 1924 by 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 my urinary track free of infections.

Cranberries are magical.

cranberryMore fun facts about cranberries:

  • The cranberry is the national fruit of Bermuda.
  • There is a Cranberry Festival in Iowa in which the Cranberry queen is worshiped as citizens stuff cranberries in their ears.
  • A rival festival happens concurrently in New Hampshire. In 1986, the Cranberry Queen’s met in the ring at WrestleMania 2. Iowa’s Christina Applewood pinned New Hampshire’s Deborah Macintosh. Event organizers failed to note that Applewood was also Iowa’s Junior Hog Queen in 1985.
  • Sacrifices are made to the cranberry god in Nova Scotia.
  • There is even a cult band, The Cranberries.
  • In 2002, George W. Bush ordered the secret invasion of Prince Edward Island for the secret stash of cranberry DNA. It became Dick Cheney’s job to protect the DNA stash in a cave in Virginia until 2008.
  • When boiled, the cranberry releases essential oils originally flowing from the fountain of youth. The french word for cranberry is Ponce de Leon.
  • When John F. Kennedy declared he was a jelly donut in Berlin, the jelly inside his donut was cranberry.
  • A secret society stages the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City to celebrate the harvest of cranberries in Central Park.
  • It’s a well known fact that Benjamin Franklin and Cotton Mather both first ate cranberries with the Pilgrims on the first Thanksgiving in 1619.
  • The female cranberry is separated from the male cranberry in the processing plant. Males are bagged and served fresh. Females are canned. Left together they would make way too much cranberry.
  • Grey Poupon stole their marketing slogan from the Cranberry Growers of America. Originally, the Bentley pulled alongside a limo and the occupant leaned over and said, “Pardon me sir, do you have any cranberry porridge?” There was subsequent legal action settled out of court in 1997.
  • Driven by ancient viking rumors of cranberry’s powers, Christopher Columbus discovered America.
  • Chuck Norris lives on a diet solely of cranberry.
  • The red in the United States flag… symbolic of the ancient order of the cranberry… dates to 1749.
  • 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.
  • It is good luck to keep a dehydrated cranberry in your left pocket in December.
  • If cranberries last longer than four hours, consult a physician.

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?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.


  1. Invented in 1924, but present at the first thanksgiving in 1619, cranberries really are magical. 😉

    You’ve got to promise us to tell us how many times your post gets cited in middle school reports and English 104 essays. Some poor child’s gonna get an F because of you.

    Thanks for the laugh!!

  2. Hey now…a real fact….
    The most traditional product made of cranberries is cranberry sauce. Elizabeth Lee, a cranberry grower from New Egypt in Ocean County, is credited with being the first person to make this delicious sauce in New Jersey. In 1917 she boiled some bruised, un-salable berries with sugar and spices to make the jelly-like product. When she first tried to market cranberry sauce, there was little interest in it. But within a few years it caught on, and she formed her own company. She eventually merged with a cranberry company in Massachusetts that had also been marketing cranberry sauce, and this became the basis for what is now the largest cranberry cooperative – Ocean Spray.
    (taken from
    Her farm was 2 miles from where I grew up!

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