Cranberry – An old exclusive wild fruit from a CO2 sink – Foodlog

The parties will again be celebrated at home, and not in restaurants. With all the sympathy for the catering industry, but cooking yourself at home is still a bit more luxurious. Also because you can buy real luxury products. In the hospitality industry, people often use products that seem exclusive, but are actually not.

Now take the cranberry. Vaccinium oxycoccos. This is a plant of the heath family that grows on the raised moor between the sphagnum moss and the wool grass. He is rare. There is therefore not much raised bog left in our country. Cranberry is a creeping shrub that creeps over the sphagnum moss, with small round leaves and red fruits that resemble tiny apples. For centuries people who lived on the raised moors collected these fruits and sold them for good money to the cooks of the rich, to put on the table to accompany game dishes. Picking this luxurious fruit was therefore not without danger. Raised moors can easily be fifteen meters deep here and many invaders disappeared into the depths without leaving any traces. They were then found a few millennia later when cutting peat, as bog bodies.

Sailors noticed that crane berries were excellent for the vitamin deficiency on long journeys and so they were distributed and commercialized

Too risky

Because it is so difficult and dangerous, people no longer harvest cranberries. The plant is now protected. And an alternative came from the sea, the crane berry or canneberge, in English cranberry. This is a plant that grows luxuriantly on the east coast of North America and is harvested industrially there quite easily: you flood an area and the berries start to float, then you just have to scoop them up.

Cranberries are of a different species and of the same genus as the cranberry: Vaccinium macrocarpon. But the fruits of these are a lot bigger than those of our small cranberry, they look like rose hips. They are very acidic and most importantly, they keep for a very long time without preparation. Sailors noticed that crane berries were excellent for the vitamin deficiency on long voyages and so they were distributed and commercialized. We forgot to add our cranberries.

health claims
The French call cranberries lingonberries and crane berries caranberges, but those names have started to get mixed up. Originally the name refers to lingonberries by the way to blueberries Vaccinium myrtillus, (outside the Alps no real cranberries grow in France), but also red cranberries (V. vitis-idaea). They are delicious as jam on cakes, but are rarely used in warm sauces. Although that could well be. The last two species are harvested in the wild and you can find them in the store like this: wild lingonberries. What doesn’t look like anything at all are the cultivated blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) from the market and in the supermarket. You hope to buy blueberries, but they taste watery and unsatisfying, even though they come with miraculous health claims.

For the climate, we were told, we have to plant trees again. Hedges and lanes can also help. And then from Scotland came the call for the moors to revalue. Scottish moors, which is raised bog, mainly consisting of peat moss, Sphagnum. The raised bogs in Scotland seem to have more CO2 than all forests in Europe combined. So we have to wet the peat again and replace the existing fagne to expand. It also regulates the water better. If we have succeeded, we can carefully start picking cranberries again, with the drone for example, and then a disappeared delicacy will be reborn. Tasty.

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Cranberry – An old exclusive wild fruit from a CO2 sink – Foodlog

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