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Cranberries

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm having terrible trouble getting my hands on some cranberries. The stores, farmers markets, etc only want to carry them at Thanksgiving (more money then and from canning and juicing, they say).

So two questions:

1. Any suggestions of where I can get either fresh or frozen cranberries fairly soon?

2. Any suggestions as to how to preserve said cranberries so that I don't end up with the same problem next year?
post #2 of 14
I can't help with your urgent need, but I do know that they freeze very well, so when they are available, it is possible to stock up and keep the bags in the freezer (double-bag to prevent freezer burn). Frozen cranberries work just as well as fresh, in my experience. Well, maybe not for making into chains to hang on the Xmas tree, ;) but they're fine for cooking and baking.

On second thought, have you checked the freezer section of your grocery? They may have the standard Ocean Spray brand.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ooh, glad to know they freeze well. I did look in the freezer section and only AJ's Fine Foods and Whole Foods have any frozen. They want about $5 for some three or four cranberries of gross weight two grams (okay, not quite that expensive but enough for sticker shock).
post #4 of 14
Free rider,

Cranberry season is in late fall so probably the only thing available until then, even directly from the farm, is the frozen stuff.

cranberries are expensive because it's a hostage crop held by OceanSpray which, pretty much buy everything available at crop time.

My suggestion is look up cranberry farms on the web and you'll find something close to you for sure and get it wholesale price.

For next year, buy tons in late Oct and freeze them in a chest freezer that does not have a defrost cycle (that will minimize freezer burn). Like Suzanne said, cranberries freeze very well. It also makes for an interesting snack when eaten frozen and let to melt on your tongue before chewing.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #5 of 14
The cranberry harvesting season starts in Sept. and runs through Oct. If you check out wiscran.org, which is the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers web site, they list several virtual fruit stands where you can order fresh cranberries right from the farms. The going price seems to be around 3.00 lb. For freezing, they recommend the berries not be washed first. Just put in a freezer bag and freeze. At capeblancocranberries.com, you can order bulk, but I don't know what their prices are. It might be a good idea to place your order now so you'll be sure to get it.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, greyeaglem, I found out a little more about the cranberry situation. Apparently only a small amount of the crop is released to the retail market with the rest going to Ocean Spray for processing. One grocer told me that the window of opportunity to buy fresh cranberries has grown smaller and smaller and he now only has a two-week window in which to obtain them.

I knew it was the start of the growing season. I didn't know that growing season matters no more as the "season" is now dictated by Ocean Spray.

Apparently the same thing is happening with cherries.
post #7 of 14
The latest news on OceanSpray and cranberries:
Ocean Spray expansion continues as cranberry demand soars

Luc H
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ocean Spray won a patent suit against another company to prevent them from producing sweetened dried cranberries. Ocean Spray has the patent on sweetened dried cranberries, so nobody other than Ocean Spray can produce them now.
post #9 of 14
I make them myself, thats the best way!
post #10 of 14
I avoid sweetened dry cranberries. It defeat the purpose of eating healthy.

I cook with whole (frozen is ok) unprocessed berries only.

Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I agree with both of you and am highly annoyed (to say the least) that Ocean Spray is withholding so much of the crop from the fresh market so they can make their precious sweetened dried cranberries. grrrrrrr
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
If you look in this document: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications...Sep/FTS324.pdf you'll find a section on cranberries including fresh and processor prices, historical amounts of cranberries harvested, etc. From what that document says, 94 percent of cranberries go to processors to be made into juice and such. I think that the percentage is much higher now, from what the grocers are saying.
post #13 of 14

Fresh cranberries are back

Well, fresh cranberries are around again. Running around 1.29 lb. in my area. Reading this thread, I'm noticing a little Ocean Spray bashing. They are a corporation, but that corporation is a co-op owned by some 750 growers. They have the patent on crasins because they developed the product. It's not uncommon for a company to patent products they have spent money researching and developing, and patents do expire. At least they turned down a 100 million dollar offer from Pepsico that would probably made things in the cranberry market worse.
post #14 of 14
Try dried cranberries. When you bake or cook with them they rehydrate and taste great!
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