This Is How Many Cranberries Go Into One Can Of Sauce

Jellied cranberry sauce on white plate
Jellied cranberry sauce on white plate - Debbismirnoff/Getty Images

Canned cranberry sauce has long been considered an essential food at the holiday dining table. Most foodies save their long-form efforts to make the best Thanksgiving recipes like easy roast turkey and loaded mashed potatoes. While you can always make a quick pot of homemade cranberry sauce, there is just something about the canned variety that lights a spark of nostalgia in most food lovers. Besides this renewed sense of annual comfort and familiarity, many people genuinely prefer shelf-stable cranberry sauce over simple stove-top recipes.

Besides its sweet taste and smooth texture, from time to time you may have wondered about the amount of cranberries required to make just one can of sauce. Surprisingly, one 14-ounce can of cranberry sauce includes roughly 200 cranberries. While you may think this is a lot of fruit for little yield, canned cranberry sauce was initially invented to take advantage of the surplus of this bright red fruit amidst the berries' somewhat small growing season.

Canned cranberry sauce became available around the U.S. in the mid-1900s after bog owner Marcus Urann wanted to find a resourceful way to sell cranberries throughout the year as opposed to the six short weeks they remain fresh after harvest. Luckily, you can now enjoy this canned delicacy every day of the year.

Read more: What These Imitation Foods Are Actually Made Of

How Is Canned Cranberry Sauce Made?

Cans of cranberry sauce piled together
Cans of cranberry sauce piled together - Billy F Blume Jr/Shutterstock

Since you've questioned how many cranberries it takes to make one can of sauce, you might be curious to know more about how canned cranberry sauce is actually made. Cranberries grow in bogs which are wet, swamp-like masses of water, moss, and grass. Once they're harvested in the Fall, cranberries reserved for sauce are cleaned and frozen until ready to use. Yet, how exactly do large amounts of cranberries fit into separate 14-ounce cans?

Upon production, the skin and seeds of these small red berries are removed and blended into a smooth and thick cranberry base. This mixture is then mixed with presscake, or the specialized pectin mixture that gives canned cranberry sauce its signature, buoyant texture. Once corn syrup is added, the hot liquified cranberry concentrate is canned and cooled before gaining space on grocery store shelves across the country.

Even though these tart red fruits may have a small harvest window, farmers have learned to take advantage of the popularity surrounding cranberry sauce. According to a study by KRC Research via Ocean Spray, 76% of Americans serve canned cranberry sauce at holiday meals. Not only that but if you lined up all the cans of cranberry sauce consumed in one year, the distance would span approximately 68,000 football fields. While statistics suggest that most Americans prefer to buy ready-made cans than make a batch of easy cranberry sauce at home, there are a few nutritional differences worth noting.

Is Canned Cranberry Sauce Good For You?

Sliced canned cranberry sauce
Sliced canned cranberry sauce - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Basic cranberry sauce recipes are made with fresh cranberries, water, granulated sugar, and citrus zest. Comparatively, canned cranberry sauce like Ocean Spray is made with high-fructose corn syrup. On the whole, canned cranberry sauce contains more sugar and carbohydrates than homemade. That being said, you're still able to reap many nutritional benefits from canned berries, including fiber and potassium.

From a nutritional standpoint, homemade cranberry sauce may be healthier. Yet, there are several added benefits of choosing canned cranberry sauce over homemade. For starters, canned sauce is extremely convenient. Not only do unopened cans last up to a year in your pantry, but you can purchase canned cranberry sauce all year round; you don't have to wait for bags of bright berries to appear in the produce section at your nearby grocery store.

Next to adding a slice of sauce alongside your Thanksgiving turkey, you can add canned cranberry sauce to a wide variety of foods including your morning yogurt or evening bowl of ice cream. The prospect of enjoying these seasonally specific fruits all year round has been made possible by way of canned cranberry sauce. Not only can you now enjoy cranberries every day of the year, but given the fact that each can of cranberry sauce includes approximately 200 berries, you are still able to absorb trace amounts of vitamins and minerals with every bite.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.