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?
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