Cranberries Not Just for Turkey Day Anymore

Posted on 08. Dec, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Todd May, cranberry farmerCurry and cranberries. Cranberries and bacon. Cranberry cream cheese.  Cranberry energy booster. Cranberry and onion. A cranberry a day keeps the doctor away?

Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.  On a recent sunny afternoon in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, a group of farmers imported by Ocean Spray offered a range of recipes using the bright red berries.

The farmers also talked cranberries with passersby, and posed for photos as they stood in waders in a temporary bog installed on Rockefeller Plaza as part of a promotional tour.

Cranberry farmer Todd May, who has worked all his life on his family farm in British Columbia, said that Ocean Spray, a cooperative owned by cranberry growers across North America, undertook the multicity tour to mark its 80th anniversary.

He said that cranberries are versatile and have medicinal purposes, such as boosting immune systems. He noted that many of the Ocean Spray co-op members are families that have been in the business for generations.

“We’re proud of what we do,” he added, between stints standing in the knee-deep water and swishing around thousands of floating red berries.

Cindy Taccini, an Ocean Spray marketing executive, handed out free samples of Cranergy, Ocean Spray’s first energy drink. The drink comes not only in cranberry, but also in versions that mix cranberry with pomegranate and raspberry flavors.

Taccini also pointed out the dishes entered in the contest that Ocean Spray is sponsoring for creative cranberry recipes, including Bacon Brunch Scones with Cranberry Pecan Cream Cheese, and Blue Cranberry Shortbread with Caramelized Onion Cranberry Jam, both from contestants in California and Minnesota.

One passerby, Ray Nassron, an audio engineer in the nearby NBC building, acknowledged that cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple. But he seemed unsure about becoming more adventurous in his cranberry consumption.  “I’ll eat a cranberry muffin,” he said, “or maybe I’ve had a cranberry vinaigrette in a salad.”

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