Signs of the Season

I was extra excited when I saw the post on Seasonal Ontario Food about visiting a cranberry farm—it’s almost cranberry time again! As I discovered when I tried to buy cranberries mere days after Christmas last year, these garnet-red berries are mighty hard to come by once the holidays are over. They may well be our last truly seasonal food product, available for only a short and specific time period. Once the roasting pan is put away and the holiday decorations are taken down, you’re not likely to see another fresh cranberry until next Thanksgiving (and darn if I hadn’t just gotten hooked on Orangette’s cranberry chutney).

As the post illustrates, most cranberries are grown in a bog that is flooded at the end of the season. The berries are then knocked off the bushes and float to the top of the water. From there they are harvested, packed, and shipped off to people’s holiday dinner tables. With Canadian Thanksgiving coming up next week, and American Thanksgiving in late November, the cranberry growers are ramping up.

And I am waiting in eager anticipation. This year I plan to stock up.

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