[Sca-cooks] cranberries

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Thu Oct 8 08:54:07 PDT 2009

At the risk of repeating information I just posted in August
and that is easily found in the list archives which can be searched
at http://lists.ansteorra.org/pipermail/sca-cooks-ansteorra.org/

Here's a quick summary for Cranberries Plus  cowberries,  
lingonberries, craneberries, lingberry, bogberries, etc.
Genus /Vaccinium/, family Ericaceae: several species.

If you look under "Vaccinium" /A Dictionary of Plant Sciences/.  
Michael Allaby. Oxford

University Press, 2006. /Oxford Reference Online/.

you will find this entry:

"Vaccinium/* (bilberry; family *Ericaceae A genus of mostly low  
shrubs, often evergreen, with alternate, *simpleleaves, *tetra-  or  
*pentamerous  flowers with mostly bell- or urn-shaped *corollas  and  
*inferior  *ovaries, and *berry-like fruits. There are some 450  
species, found mostly in the northern (temperate zone and the Arctic,  
with some tropical mountain outliers. Several species are cultivated,  
particularly the American cranberry (V.macrocarpon), with reflexed  
corolla lobes, from whose berries cranberry sauce is made; European  
cranberry (V. oxycoccos) is a similar but smaller species, also with  
edible berries, found in bogs throughout the northern temperate zone."

  • /Vaccinium vitis-idaea/, family Ericaceae. • the edible acid berry  
of the cowberry plant.

If you look under "cranberry" /An A-Z of Food and Drink/. Ed. John  
Ayto. OUP, 2002 /Oxford Reference Online/

you will find: "Cranberries grow in Britain, but in medieval times  
they went under a variety of names such as /marsh-wort, fen-wort, fen- 
berry/, and /moss-berry/. The term /cranberry/ did not appear until  
the late seventeenth century, in America. It was a partial translation  
of /kranbeere/, literally ‘craneberry,’ brought across the Atlantic  
byGerman immigrants (the German word is an allusion to the plant's  
long beaklike stamens). It was the Germans and Scandinavians, too, who  
probably popularized the notion of eating cranberries with meat..."

Look up bilberry and you are told " bilberry /noun/ ( pl. bilberries )  
a hardy dwarf shrub with red drooping flowers and dark blue edible  
berries, growing on heathland and mountains in northern Eurasia. •  
Genus Vaccinium , family Ericaceae: several species, in particular V.  
myrtillus . • the small blue ..." Variously known as whortleberry,  
blaeberry, whinberry, huckleberry"

Ayto says: "Bilberries are the small purplish-blue berries of a bush (/ 
Vaccinium myrtillus/) of the heath family. They are used for making  
tarts, flans, sorbets, etc. The name is probably of Scandinavian  
origin: Danish has the related /bøllebaer/ ‘bilberry’, of which the  
first element seems to represent Danish /bolle/, ‘ball, round roll’.  
Alternative names for it include /whortleberry/, (in Scotland and  
northern England) /blaeberry/, and (in North America) /huckleberry/.  
In French the bilberry is known as the /myrtille/ or /airelle/."

Then there are "cowberries pl. *cowberries*) a low-growing evergreen  
dwarf shrub of the heather family, which bears dark red berries and  
grows in northern upland habitats. See also *lingonberry which is  
defined as *lingonberry* Fruit of the small evergreen shrub Vaccinium  
vitis-idaea; contains high levels of *benzoic acid.Also known as  
cowberry or lingberry."

All of the above comes out of Oxford Reference Online.

  We've discussed this in the past so you can as always check the  
Florilegium too.


  On Oct 8, 2009, at 10:55 AM, tudorpot at gmail.com wrote:

> where cranberries known in period Europe?
> Theadora

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