As Thanksgiving approaches, families across Wisconsin eagerly anticipate the feast, complete with a star-studded lineup of traditional holiday dishes. Among these, cranberry sauce holds a special place, and no place is more synonymous with cranberry production than Wisconsin.
The Cranberry Capital
Often hailed as the “Cranberry Capital of the World“, Wisconsin boasts a rich cranberry history. Acidic, sandy soils and temperate climate provide the perfect conditions for growing this incredible fruit. With over 21,000 acres dedicated to growing cranberries, Wisconsin contributes significantly to the nation’s cranberry harvest.
The Harvest Ritual
Cranberry harvest in Wisconsin typically takes place from late September to early November, perfect timing for Thanksgiving festivities. Families and workers gather in expansive cranberry marshes, where the flooded fields create a stunning sea of red. Harvesters employ a unique method – flooding the fields and using machinery to gently dislodge the berries from the vines. The cranberries float to the surface, where they are corralled and transported!
The connection between Wisconsin cranberries and Thanksgiving is more than meets the eye; it’s deeply ingrained in the state’s culture. The cranberry industry not only sustains local economies but also creates a festive atmosphere that extends beyond the fields into Thanksgiving celebrations.
From Bog to Table
Freshly harvested Wisconsin cranberries find their way to Thanksgiving tables across the country. Whether in the form of cranberry sauce, relish or as a festive garnish, this delicious fruit adds a burst of flavor and color to the holiday spread.
This Thanksgiving, as you scoop a spoonful of this cranberry sauce provided by Amber Bristow onto your plate, take a moment to appreciate the labor of love that goes into each berry. Behind every dollop of cranberry goodness is a story of hard work, community and a touch of Wisconsin magic that enhances the spirit of gratitude during this festive season.
4-2-1 Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 4 cups cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water (may also substitute for cranberry or orange juice)
- cinnamon to taste
- cloves to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients in an oven-safe dish. Cover with aluminium foil and put into preheated oven for one hour
- Sugar can be substituted with maple syrup or honey.
- When the sauce comes out of the oven, the berries will retain their shape and color.
- Sauce may be enjoyed warm or chilled if prepared beforehand.