Turning Points Features
What's tart and tangy and comes from a bog?
Native to bogs across northern North America, cranberries are one of only three common fruits indigenous to North America--and Wisconsin is the nation's leading commercial producer. Cranberries have been an important Wisconsin crop almost as long as Wisconsin has been a state, as this 1875 article attests. In the mid-19th century, the first commercial cranberry marshes were established near Berlin, Wisconsin, and soon spread throughout Central Wisconsin. Until Ocean Spray blended cranberries with other fruit juices in 1963, though, consumer demand for cranberries was relatively small. This woman was certainly doing her part to encourage cranberry consumption, however, long before the introduction of juice blends.
Today, Wisconsin not only produces the most fruit, but also has the world's largest festival devoted to the tart red berry each fall in Warrens, Wisconsin. In 2004, Governor Doyle declared the cranberry Wisconsin's official state fruit, and nationally, October is National Cranberry Month.
Posted October 14, 2005