When you hear “Thanksgiving”, you probably see visions of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
Have you ever wondered why we enjoy these same staples at every Thanksgiving feast? If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that our traditions are rooted in the food sources that were available at the very first Thanksgiving on Plymouth Rock.
Let’s talk cranberries.
Whether you prefer them canned, juiced, or fresh, you most likely wait until November to satisfy your cranberry craving. Part of this can be attributed to often associating cranberries with the holiday season, but it also has a lot to do with the timing of peak harvest. Cranberries reach their best color and flavor for harvesting from mid-September through November, making them the perfect fruit to add some sweetness and color to your holiday table.
Historically, Native Americans used cranberries not only as a food source, but also for medicinal purposes and to dye fabric. As one of only three fruits native to North America (the other two being blueberries and concord grapes), cranberries were abundant in the 1600s and therefore it is believed that they were part of the first Thanksgiving feast.
The sweet, tart, vibrant berries thrive in bogs on vines that can grow up to six feet in length and live over 100 years. Before Ocean Spray revolutionized cranberry harvesting in the 1930s, each berry was hand-picked from the vine. Today, farmers participate in a “wet harvest”, which involves waiting for the cranberries to fall from the vine and float in the bog beneath. This process allows the harvest to run more efficiently, as it only takes several people to scoop the berries from the water.
Happy Thanksgiving from World Synergy!
Whether you’re enjoying a cranberry treat, helping yourself to more mashed potatoes and turkey, or simply spending time with loved ones this year, the World Synergy team would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!