Not having had prior experience with fresh cranberries, I assumed they would be similar to the more familiar blueberries, cherries and strawberries, that is, sweet, soft and juicy. I was therefore surprised to find them vacuum packed. No other fresh berry would survive such a treatment, surely? It turns out they weren't as fresh as I had thought either. The best by date was already two weeks in the past, which is not surprising as the cranberry season runs from around March to June in New Zealand. Fortunately, I discovered that they keep a long time, up to two months in a sealed bag in the refrigerator. They were still very firm anyway, with the exception of a few bad ones.
|Vacuum packed cranberries at the store (top left).|
After your mouth stops puckering, you might notice that apart from the skin, the fruit is in fact not very red at all. Nor is it very juicy. And there are little seeds inside. How curious!
|Not what I imagined cranberries looked like inside!|
|Making cranberry sauce.|
My American sister-in-law also suggested I try blending the fresh berries in a food processor with an orange, apple, and a few tablespoons of sugar, but I'm not convinced that a raw cranberry relish would be my thing.
It turned out to be a tasty (when prepared) and educational purchase in the end. However, I am not sure that I would pay that amount of money for raw cranberries again, especially since you (or rather, I) cannot eat them raw.