17 January 2014

The Cranberry

Can someone please tell me definitively whether or not cranberries exist in any state other than the following: (canned) cranberry sauce; frozen cranberries; dried cranberries; or cranberry juice.  Is there such a thing as a “cranberry”?  Has anyone ever seen one?  Are they really harvested in revolting swamps?  If anyone read this blog or cared enough about it to comment, the answer would probably be yes.  I’m sure that someone, somewhere, knows what a cranberry is, but I have never seen a cranberry—neither in its natural environment, nor for sale in a store—and it seems really bizarre to me that there is an entire culture of food that surrounds a particular “berry” (is it even a berry?!) that no one seems to eat in its natural state.

Frozen Cranberries
: Of all the manifestations of the cranberry, the frozen cranberry seems the most capable at signalling towards a natural cranberry.  Presumably frozen cranberries are actual cranberries that have been frozen, and so perhaps by examining the frozen version, we can better understand the elusive cranberry. I once bought a bag of frozen cranberries as smoothie ingredients because they were on a steep discount and because I initially mistook them for raspberries.  By the time I had realized my mistake, I thought I might as well see this thing through to the end (smoothies provide a really safe environment for trying new foods).  Their contribution to my smoothies were not remarkable in any way.  I tried one in its frozen form and did not like it.

Cranberry Sauce: I know that a lot of people are really into this and that it’s considered a staple at Thanksgiving dinners, but argh, this is disgusting.  Maybe on its own it’s not too bad (although probably still not very good, unless you add sugar to it or something), but I have never understood the appeal of drizzling a fruit sauce over meat.  Worse yet is that unless you eat your turkey on a separate plate or bowl, that sauce is inevitably going to come into contact with whatever other food you might happen to have on your plate, like stuffing, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables.  Unfortunately I think this might be part of the appeal for a lot of people.
I'm really getting into the idea of me riding on top of certain foods as if they were a hot, metal goat.

Dried Cranberries: I’ve never been able to figure out whether or not the term “craisin” refers strictly to dried cranberries, to a mix of raisins and dried cranberries, or to a process of fusing grapes and cranberries together into one fruit before the drying process occurs.  But whatever that word refers to, it doesn’t really matter because when you already have a plentiful supply of raisins that exist in this world, why would you ever need dried cranberries?

Cranberry Juice: Alleged health benefits aside, pure cranberry juice is overpriced and disgusting to boot.  If I’m going to pay $9 for 1L of juice, I want to be able to actually drink it.

Cranberries in juice form brings up an important point: aren’t these berries disgusting?  If they do in fact exist in some sort of pure form, shouldn’t they not?  Based on my experience with the juice and the frozen variety, they really don’t taste very good.  I get that they’re supposed to be a super-food and loaded with a bunch of whatevers, but so are a lot of other things. Including the other berries, like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries—all of which are delicious.  I'm here to tell you that you don't have to limit yourself to this one disgusting berry (which may or may not actually exist), because the world around you is bursting with delicious berries, if you'll only open your eyes to it.

 Have any among you seen the cranberry in its natural state?
Or is it less what is is, and more how it can be used to create?
It comes to us as sauce, dried fruit, or over-priced juice,
But for such a “super-food,” it’s kind of a recluse.


  1. I'm worried about you, Food Thoughtz. This post is so under-researched and poorly theorized. Of course cranberries exist, and they are delicious, especially added to muffins, or berry-burst pancakes. Sure, they're a bit tart, but they really come to life with the addition of sugar. Kind of like rhubarb. Which brings me to my second point: cranberry sauce is JUST sugar, held together by a little bit of cranberry (unless mum is making it, at which point it's sugar held together by cranberries and oranges). Now, I'm not going to fight you about fruit and meat (once I was accused by a hostile American of being overly colonized because of my penchant for fruit and meat; apparently in the south that's a loathsome combination because it reflects the influence of India on the British empire and, well, people in Tennessee are super racist about that), but I expect more from you Food Thoughtz. Your hatred of food is important because it's so detailed. I think you really missed the boat on this one. Also, good grief girl. Have you never had a bladder infection? A $9 bottle of juice is vastly preferable to 3 hours in the walk-in clinic.

  2. Look here, mb. I have given you every possible opportunity to write a guest post for Food Thoughtz, and each time you’ve bowed out.

    First of all, of course I have never had a bladder infection. And if I did, I would suffer in silence: I would not go and see a doctor, but I certainly wouldn’t throw away money on cranberry juice.

    Second of all, I researched this topic just as much as I have researched every other post on this blog, which is exactly none.

    I initially planned a longer response, but that should cover it.