'Tis the season, y'all! I know, I kind of can't believe it either, but it's true. Doubt me? Look around you and notice how all those pumpkin-spice based foods are vanishing and being replaced with something else: Cranberry. That's right, the truest harbinger of the holiday season has arrived, and it will not go quietly into that good night -- it will be eaten, come hell, high water, or both.
We have all had cranberries at one time or another. We've either gritted our teeth and suffered as we smacked on canned cranberry sauce or we savored some tasty dessert-like delights at our favorite coffee shop. However you've rung in the season with cranberry, odds are you've never sat around pondering this weird, tangy, little fruit.
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That all changes now. Because I am not content to let you sit around and just mindlessly eat a food. I want you to come armed to every meal with FACTS to share with those around you. Eating is awesome, this is true, and cranberries are delicious, tart wonders, but trivia trumps all else when it comes to discussing the culinary world. Here are 6 things you might not know about cranberries.
1.) They bounce
It's true, as we've discussed -- cranberries contain a tiny pouch of air. Because of this, when you drop one, you run the very real risk of it jumping back and bopping you one in the kisser.
2.) They don't actually grow in water
We think of cranberries as just chilling in a flooded bog. The truth is the vines are only flushed with water when the fruit is ripe. Because they float, this makes them easier to harvest.
3.) It's straight up AMERICAN
There aren't a lot of fruits native to North America. But the cranberry is one of them! Native Americans used to use it for all sorts of things, eating and otherwise! For one, it was a very popular dye.
4.) There are A LOT of vines
If you took every cranberry vine in North America and ran them from Boston to L.A., you'd make that trip close to 600 times and presumably be very tired at the end of it.
5.) Maine holds the record
In 2009 Maine earned the title of the biggest cranberry harvest to date! That's right -- the crans keep on coming, so I hope you're hungry.
6.) They help the environment
Because they require a very specific sort of growing environment, cranberry bogs actually provide wetlands for all sorts of endangered animals -- one more reason to eat them up!
The tartness of cranberry is definitely an acquired taste. Do you love it or loathe it?
Image via Half Chinese/Flickr