These shiny red berries grow in large bogs on low vines, mainly in Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Usually packaged fresh in 12 oz bags, throw out any shriveled or discolored berries. Dried sweetened cranberries and canned cranberry sauce in puree or whole bean form are also available.
How to store: Will keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or frozen for a year.
How to prepare: Cranberries are extremely tart, so they are often combined with sugar or other fruits when cooked. Usually cooked into a sauce used with meats at Thanksgiving and Christmas, cranberries also make good chutneys, pies and cobblers. Dried cranberries can be used like raisins.
Matches well with: apples, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, pears, sugar, walnuts
Substitutions: lingonberry, carissa, rhubarb