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Cranberry or cranberry? What is the difference?
(aid) - Cranberries and cranberries are the same for many and even the same for some. These are two different types of plants from the heather family, which differ significantly.
The cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is native to Europe and Asia and thrives on an upright dwarf shrub with broad leaves. It reaches a maximum height of 40 centimeters and can be found wild in coniferous forests, bogs and heaths up to alpine heights. The North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), on the other hand, grows on long tendrils and creeps over the ground. The leaves are narrow and tapering.
The fruits are hardly to be confused either. The spherical cranberry is about the size of a pea and hangs together in short bunches. At first it is white, but turns fully red to scarlet red when fully ripe. The ruby cranberry, however, is much larger. It can almost reach the size of cherries or olives and is therefore also called "large-fruity cranberry".
Cranberries and cranberries have similar ingredients. These include organic acids, pectins and other fiber. The minerals and vitamins in the cowberry are rather average (e.g. 12 mg vitamin C per 100 g). The phenolic acids and tannins contained in it, which have an anti-inflammatory effect, are particularly valuable. Regular consumption of cranberry and cranberry juice is said to prevent urinary tract infections.
Cranberries are still in season until October, with the market offer being determined almost exclusively by wild fruits from Northern and Eastern Europe. They should be washed thoroughly before eating as eggs of the fox tapeworm can adhere. The herb-acidic and slightly bitter berries are only conditionally suitable for raw consumption. They taste much better in compote, jelly or jam. They are also popular as a fruity accompaniment to game, poultry and baked camembert and in chutney.
From October to early January, fresh cranberries from North America can be found in well-stocked supermarkets. Pay attention to quality when shopping: high-quality berries are well ripened and can be recognized by a smooth bowl without wrinkles and stains. Dried fruits, nectar, jelly, sauces and other cranberry products are part of the range all year round. Many recipes can also be prepared with dried fruit out of season if they are soaked in cranberry or apple juice for a few hours beforehand. 50 g of dried cranberries correspond to 100 g of fresh goods. Heike Kreutz, aid