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Botanical name: Vaccinium macrocarpon



The cranberry is at home in the northern USA and Canada. The main areas of cultivation today are in the American states of Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Poland, Chile, and some of the Baltic states have grown cranberries for some years now. Nevertheless, 90% of the world supply is produced in the USA. In Germany cultivation of the domestic cowberry or lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) takes precedence over the cranberry.



Cranberries are available fresh, dried, or further processed in many different products.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

They are usually round, can be oval or pear-shaped depending on the variety, and are 10-15 mm in diameter. Their taste is sweet-tart. They are closely related to the wild cowberry or lingonberry that grows in our area and to the wild cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) that is also found here.



Cranberries contain predominantly water and only small amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. The fat is composed mainly of unsaturated fatty acids, and the cranberry can supply part of the daily requirement of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.


With their relatively high fibre content they can help to prevent a number of diseases, such as colon cancer and arteriosclerosis.


The phenols they contain, chiefly anthocyanins, work as antioxidants.


100 g contain:




Energy (kcal)


Water (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Vitamin C (mg)


Niacin (NE) (mg)


Pantothenic acid (mg)


Potassium (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Phosphorus (mg)


Iron (mg)




Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

In the refrigerator cranberries can be kept for more than several months, which is uncommon for berry fruits. When frozen, they can also be stored for a longer period.


Presumed effect on health

Cranberries are supposed to have an antimicrobial effect. In addition, research has shown that regular consumption of cranberry juice may contribute to the prevention of urinary tract infections. It is presumed that the juice keeps pathogens from adhering to the surface of the urinary tract.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

A large portion of the harvest is used industrially to produce sauces and juice. Here, as well as in the USA, cranberry juice is attracting an ever-increasing buying public.


Fresh berries are now also available in our supermarkets and can be used in the most varied dishes. They are good as an ingredient in muffins and cakes, or to make jams and sweet sauces that develop their full aroma in combination with game.


Dried cranberries are suitable as an addition to mueslis, baked goods, and fruit bread or as a small, sweet, between-meal snack.


Seasoning tip

Many spices that are used for sweet baked goods go excellently with cranberries, for example cinnamon and cloves.





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