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Known for their tangy, refreshing taste, Cranberries (Vaccium
oxycocoos) were supposedly part of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, but did not
become a national tradition until after the Civil War. A small evergreen shrub,
which grows in mountain forests and damp bogs from Alaska to Tennesee, the
Cranberry bush produces pink or purple flowers in spring and brighte red berries
in the fall.
High in Vitamin C, Cranberries were a favorite among early
sailors for preventing scurvy. Crannberries make flavorful jams and preserves
and are used in a variety of beverages. It was 19th century German chemists who
researched and defined many of Cranberry's valuable health benefits.