NATIONAL EAT A CRANBERRY DAY National Eat a Cranberry Day is celebrated each year on November 23. Found in acidic bogs throughout the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere, cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs, or trailing vines, that grow up to 7 ft. long and 8 in. high. Their stems are slender and wiry, and they have small evergreen leaves. The cranberry flowers are dark pink with very distinct reflexed petals, leaving the style and stamens fully exposed and pointing forward. The fruit of the cranberry plant is a berry that is larger than the leaves and is initially white but when ripe, turns a deep red. CRANBERRIES: Are a major commercial crop in certain American states: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Cranberry sauce is considered an indispensable part of a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. Raw cranberries have been marketed as a “superfruit” due to their nutrient content and antioxidant qualities. White cranberry juice is made from regular cranberries that have been harvested after the fruits are mature, but before they have attained their characteristic dark red color. Laboratory studies indicate that extracts containing cranberry may have anti-aging effects. The word cranberry comes from “craneberry”; first named by the early European settlers in America who felt the expanding flower, stem, calyx and petals resembled the neck, head and bill of a crane.

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