Good quality cranberries will be firm with dark red coloring. They are fairly sturdy and require no special handling other than do not store them wet. Avoid cranberries that are wrinkled, soft or leaking juice.
Available late September through October from Washington and Oregon.
Since cranberries are very seasonal, it is helpful to know that they can be frozen. For example, buy an extra bag or two during Thanksgiving and freeze them if you like to make your own cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner. Do not thaw frozen cranberries. Simply rinse with cold water and use immediately after removing them from the freezer. Frozen berries are best in glazes and sauces.
Cranberry sauce was an invention of American Indians who cooked cranberries with honey or maple sugar, to eat with their meat. The plant is native to peat and bog areas of northern latitudes around the globe. American berries are unique for their large size and commercial production is confined to North America.
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