Side Dish of Nostalgia: 8 Fun Facts About Jellied Cranberry Sauceimage preview

Side Dish of Nostalgia: 8 Fun Facts About Jellied Cranberry Sauce

When it comes to side dishes, most can agree that cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving is a must. And for many of us growing up, this meant simply opening up a tin can and emptying the contents onto a dish or plate, which always made a delicate “whoosh-plop” sound. Then it was placed on the table with the rest of the meal.

There, the wiggly, jiggly “log” with its signature ridges, could truly be appreciated. To serve, it was sliced with a knife and slid onto our plates where it politely stayed, never daring to mingle with the potatoes, gravy, or—heaven forbid—the turkey.

But ask anyone about jellied cranberry sauce and they’ll happily share their (strong) opinion about it. Some can’t even look at it; others say the setting is incomplete without it. In fact, Americans consume over 5 million gallons of jellied cranberry sauce every holiday season.

8 Fun Facts About Jellied Cranberry Sauce From A Can:

  1. Massachusetts-based Ocean Spray, the largest producer of cranberry products in the U.S., produces about 79 million cans of jellied cranberry sauce each year, 85 percent of which are sold during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
  2. Jellied cranberry sauce from a can (the log) is most preferred by consumers totaling 75% of overall cranberry sauce sales.
  3.  It takes about 200 cranberries to make one can of cranberry sauce.
  4. Canned cranberry sauce got its start in 1912 when cranberry growers Marcus L. Urann and Elizabeth Lee started working together to create a jellied sauce, which was concocted by boiling the bruised berries from the bog (say that 3 times fast).
  5. Because cranberries were only available for a short window in the fall, canning them made it available year-round.
  6. Cranberry sauce in a can became a Thanksgiving staple across the country by 1941.
  7. Why does it wiggle? Because cranberries have a high pectin content, which causes the fruit to “gel.” Pectin is a key ingredient added when making jellies or jams.
  8. John Lennon confirmed in a 1980 interview that he repeated the words cranberry sauce at the end of the song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Take a listen to what he said about it!

Whether you’re a fan or foe, we can all agree that jellied cranberry sauce from a can is here to stay, and has earned its rightful place on our tables, and in our hearts, even if it is only once or twice a year.

Prefer homemade? We’ve got an easy cranberry sauce recipe here.

See how jellied cranberry sauce is made:

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DrucellA J Durall
DrucellA J Durall
29 days ago

My family luvs the jiggle wiggle can version keep it on hand all yr round my granddaughter luvs it with her dressing

S R Stieb
S R Stieb
29 days ago

I remember when we couldn’t buy cranberries due to a cancer scare. Not sure what the year was. Thank God it wasn’t true!

LaBic
LaBic
29 days ago

Mix a bit into a serving of your favorite yogurt. Add whatever else tickles your fancy.

Carl Long
Carl Long
1 month ago

In the fall we (my wife and I) made Homemade Sauce. Wonderful on a hot buttered cat-head biscuit for breakfast.

Shery Sullivan
Shery Sullivan
1 year ago

Susan Olynick. Dumb question but do you peel those oranges before processing?

Belinda
Belinda
1 year ago

A can of cranberry sauce on top of a pork roast in the slow cooker makes a tasty dinner any time of year!

Debbie Carter
Debbie Carter
1 year ago

Poor man’s ( pp+j sandwich). Mix cranberry sauce & water, about a 1/8 cup, then add a little at a time, as it needs it for the sugar to dissolve. ( 1-2 tablespoon of sugar or less) Stir together. Makes jelly. Stays in refrigerator quit a long time. Why buy jelly? It’s cheaper. Unless you treat yourself to your favorite kind. For diabetes, add your own kind of sugar!

Rhonda West
Rhonda West
1 year ago

Thanks for the history lesson; I’ve always wondered about it! My sis makes the best Cranberry mood around the holidays. I’m obscessed; delicious. My oldest son expects the canned version every Thanksgiving. He doesn’t like it when it’s not on the table to compliment his turkey & dressing. He will accept no substitutes.

Kellyanne Harwood
Kellyanne Harwood
1 year ago

I LOVE jellied cranberry sauce with my holiday meals, very interesting read…Thanks Farmers Almanac for the education on this awesome fruit.❤

Karen Lancaster
Karen Lancaster
1 year ago

Add cranberry sauce to your bar b que sauce. Great on grilled chicken or pork.

Chrissy
Chrissy
1 year ago

Just get rid of the high fructose gmo corn syrup and we’ll buy cans of it again!!!

Jill measley
Jill measley
1 year ago

Not only is cranberry sauce required in my home for any time of year,I have taken up sonic limeaide with cranberry. How refreshing. Next year I want to go watch the harversting. I live in nj and think I should see it in person .

DeAnne Jones
DeAnne Jones
1 year ago

I would appreciate a low or sugar free option. I can’t eat as much as I would like to because of the sugar/carbs. Please please if you decide to replace sugar use stevia sweetener as a substitute NOT sucralose . It’s much healthier!!

Ellen
Ellen
1 year ago

I love it! It’s not the Holidays without it.
During the rest of the year I use the the chunky one in chicken and pork recipes.
If I’m honest… I’m not a fan of homemade. Especially recipes with orange in it. I take a polite portion so as not to offend the hosts; but never have I enjoyed it.

Cynthia Beam
Cynthia Beam
1 year ago

My family loves it year-round – but, it wouldn’t be the holidays without it!

rose
rose
1 year ago

I love canned cranberry sauce year ’round! There is nothing quite like that sweet/tart deliciousness! Good with a sandwich-anything really.

NanaGoldie
NanaGoldie
1 year ago

We put whipping cream on whole berry, homemade sauce, for an interesting sweet “dessert.”

Chuck Pins
Chuck Pins
1 year ago

My daughter for Thanksgiving slices the Cranberry sauce into 1/4 inch slices, puts a layer of cream cheese on a slice and then places another slice on top. Makes up a platter of these on the serving line. Look forward to it every year.

CJ
CJ
1 year ago

We aren’t fond of the canned version. We DO make our own with either fresh or frozen cranberries, orange, some sugar, etc. and, if we want it to have some “kick” some finely chopped jalapeno pepper. We are “chili heads” and like a lot of food that has chiles in it.

Anita J Burrous
Anita J Burrous
1 year ago

Grind one bag of cranberries with a whole orange in a grinder or food chopper – into fine pieces. Add two cups of sugar (can skimp if you like it more tart). Chop3 or 4 stalks of celery (for crunch) and add to the mixture, also chopped walnuts or pecans. Dissolve one pkg of cherry jello w/one cup boiling water. Mix all together and refrigerate…stir occasionally. It looks pretty in a ring mold. When cranberries are in season, I often mix the berries, orange and sugar – let the sugar dissolve, and freeze that mixture. Later in the year I thaw it, add celery and nuts and jello and enjoy! Not every one in our family likes this, but those who do ‘relish’ it

Marcia Rizzo
Marcia Rizzo
1 year ago

I wish there was a real low carb/low sugar, i.e., no sugar alcohols version of cranberry sauce so I could eat more of it more often.

Frank
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcia Rizzo

Marcia, there is a version that is low carb you can try! I generally use this recipe for Thanksgiving every year: https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/remaining-low-carb-through-the-holidays-and-sugarfree-cranberry-sauce

Alannah Mozisek
Alannah Mozisek
1 year ago

Cranberry sauce, cheddar cheese and Ritz crackers have been a year round snack for me for over 60 years!!!!!

Gary D. Murphy
Gary D. Murphy
1 year ago

What happened to your Cranberry/Raspberry sauce? It was my favorite and I have not been able to find it for several years. If I can still buy it, tell me where! Please.

Marcia
Marcia
1 year ago

Ive never had any desire to buy, serve or eat canned cranberries. I make my Mom’s relish every year using a bag of cranberries, chopped add one finely chopped apple and finely diced orange. Mix in sugar to taste, I like mine tart. Great with turkey❣️

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

I enjoy jellied cranberry sauce as a side dish for many meals and not only a must for the holidays I enjoy a wrap consisting of warming a flour tortilla apply a thin layer of mayo down the center followed with thin slices of turkey, a layer of jellied cranberry sauce and lettuce.

Dorothy Miller
Dorothy Miller
1 year ago

I eat cranberry sauce every time I have chicken or turkey, could be a full meal or even a chicken or turkey sandwich I have to have my cranberry sauce with it. Yummy.

Shannon
Shannon
1 year ago

Cranberry sauce is a must at my Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner everyone loves it. We have to get three or four cans to feed my crew, then that’s barely enough. My mother in law made a cranberry cake for my youngest and cut letters out of the sauce and placed on top it was delicious. She can make anything out of anything and make it great.

Eileen heaster
Eileen heaster
2 years ago

All the side dishes that go with turkey and ham are all good on thanksgiving day,and desserts are too.

Teresa Keightley
Teresa Keightley
3 years ago

My Thanksgiving meal is nothing without cranberry sauce. My son, and youngest grand daughter are the only two that will eat it on that day with me.

Omajayne
Omajayne
3 years ago

WOW! I make a relish with 2 bags cranberries, 2 seedless and thin skin oranges, 10 oz. crushed pineapple, drained, all processed to a good consistency. Add 2-4 cups sugar, dash kosher salt, lemon zest. Combine until sugar has dissolved. Add chopped walnuts or pecans. So good not only on Thanksgiving, but good with cottage cheese.
I buy bags of Cranberries and freeze for the relish all year. YUMMY!

Susan Olynick
Susan Olynick
3 years ago

I can take it or leave it during the dinner, but jellied cranberry sauce is a “must have” on the mountain of turkey sandwiches I devour after the meal!

Bob Wolfe
Bob Wolfe
3 years ago

Make my own from wild berries, great on sandwiches too.

PhyllisMehler
PhyllisMehler
3 years ago

Forget the turkey !! Give me cranberry sauce!

henriette raymond
henriette raymond
3 years ago

We juste love ♥ cranberries with turkey and on porc chops , beef ♥