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December 2003 Issue
by J. Sinclair
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This month, we take a look at one of America's native children: the cranberry. That's right, cranberries are one of only a handful of major fruits that are native to North America. And while about 20 percent of the national cranberry consumption just occurred during Thanksgiving week, that still means that over 300 million pounds of these tart berries are being enjoyed during other parts of the year.

Grown in bogs, many people think cranberries are grown much like rice but, contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Instead, they grow on vines in impermeable beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These bogs were originally made by glacial deposits. And, if you're at all worried about running out of a good supply, you have nothing to fear. If you strung all the cranberries produced in North America last year, they would stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times! With all those berries out there to enjoy, it seems like a good time to visit some tried and true recipes for you to enjoy.


Cranberry-Tangerine Relish

Sweet citrus and tangy cranberries are both in season now. This delightful relish takes advantage of both and is wonderful when paired with poultry or pork.
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 tangerine -- zested, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
Puree half of the cranberries with the tangerine and its zest. Add the sugar and vinegar and mix to combine. Allow the mixture to rest at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Yields: 2 cups
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes plus chilling time

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