What a beautiful sight to see the thousands of cranberries floating on the fields filled with water ready to harvest. It looks like small red candies that are blown on the edges of the fields before loading the big trucks that brings them to the processing plant. It is after the first frosts of autumn that the harvest begins. In Quebec, cranberry farming began in 1984. Since then, the number of producers who grow that berry has been steadily increasing.
The cranberry is a berry native to America. The Hurons called it atoka and the Iroquois gave it the name of toka. In the northern regions of Quebec, cranberries (wild cranberries) are harvested in the wild. Depending on the region, it is called red seed, potato or berri.
Cranberry goes well with orange and apple and wonderfully with poultry and pork. It is a food rich in vitamin C and is increasingly popular for its healing properties well known to people with urinary problems. It is also said to benefit the intestinal flora, blood circulation, skin and digestive system. Cranberry is a tart fruit delicious in muffins, pies, cakes, sauces and juices.
Fall is the best time of year to make provisions. They can be frozen as is, and according to Jacqueline Bédard of Saint-Louis-de-Blandford desserts are better if they are made with frozen cranberries.
Here is a jam recipe from my book La Cuisine Traditionnelle de la Mauricie. This recipe has been generously given to me by Anne-Marie Chalifoux from Shawinigan.
You will surely love my Cranberry Cake with maple sauce recipe.