[Sca-cooks] cranberries

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Oct 9 13:06:18 PDT 2009

Cranberries, Vaccinium marcocarpum, are North American.  Vaccinium oxycoccus 
is a similar smaller reddish fruit found in the Arctic and cooler northern 
regions including Europe and are commonly called small cranberries or 
European cranberries.  Bilberries (blueberries) are also members of genus 
Vaccinium and are related.  Barberries are members of genus Berberis and to 
my knowledge are not related.

I'm not near my OED, but you might want to check out the derivation and 
temporal usage of cranberry which comes from the German.

According to some limited soure material, New World cranberries were known 
in period, but may or may not have been eaten in Europe at that time. 
Commercial production didn't begin until the late 19th Century.

If V. oxycoccus were eaten in period (which is likely), it use was probably 
limited to extreme Northern Europe.  I haven't located much on it's native 
range, but I suspect it may be one of the berries that grow in tundra bogs.


> where cranberries known in period Europe?
> Theadora

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