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Betsy Block

NPR Online

Why Americans Relish Cranberries

For this story, go here.

NPR Online reader Wesley Hill of Alaska shared the following with me:

"Many of the indigenous people of Alaska continue to use local berries as a major part of their diet. Unless you've seen the "harvest" first-hand, you would find it dificult to appreciate the importance of this food. I've been in remote, isolated villages when a couple grandmothers and their kids and grandkids appeared with three or four 50-gallon "garbage cans" full of berries. The berries are generally packed in oil to preserve them for the long winter...

In many parts of Alaska there are two varieties of cranberry: Low Bush, which look and taste like the commercial cranberry (although each berry is smaller), and High Bush, which grow on a large bush which at times is way taller than your head (maybe 8 feet sometimes). High Bush berries have a flat seed and a strong aftertaste but they make excellent juice for jelly and freezing to drink. They may not be a true cranberry, however."

Many thanks to you, Wesley.