Weird Foods: Canned Cranberry Sauce

The perfect side dish of nostalgia

By Charlotte Linde November 7, 2020

Canned cranberry sauce. Really, not a sauce at all, but a wiggly jiggly glistening blob. It comes out still shaped like a can with those signature ridges, a sliceable, gelatinous traditional side dish at Thanksgiving. Forget politics, the debate across the country is canned cranberries or fresh. Though some of us prefer no cranberries at all. But for me I fall on the canned cranberry side -- there is something very nostalgic about canned cranberries. From opening the can to the distinct sound it makes sliding out and landing on a plate ... I'll be back for seconds.

10 fun facts about canned cranberry sauce:

  1. Ocean Spray is the largest producer of cranberry products here in the U.S. Marcus L.Urann, a lawyer who owned his own cranberry bogs, and Elizabeth Lee, a cranberry grower in New Jersey joined forces in 1912 to make the perfect recipe.
  2. Fresh cranberries are only available for a short time in the fall. Canning them made them available all year long.
  3. This canned fruit log became a Thanksgiving staple in the early 1940s. 
  4. It takes about 200 cranberries to make one can.
  5. Today, Massachusetts-based company Ocean Spray is the largest producer of cranberry products here in the US. 
  6. According to Ocean Spray, 73 percent  of Americans prefer their cranberry sauce out of the can.
  7. Six in 10 Americans say cranberry sauce has always been a side dish on their Thanksgiving dinner table.
  8. 68 percent of Americans say they love the taste of cranberry sauce. 
  9. 20 percent of cranberries in the United States are consumed the week of Thanksgiving.
  10. Canned or homemade, cranberries can deliver a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.

However you slice it —  you go ahead and enjoy your can of gelatinous goodness. 

Want to make that gelatinous blob look fancy? Layer slices in a glass to look like a rose. Add sage for leaves.


Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration? 

Don't miss Our Complete Guide To Thanksgiving.