Tart, scarlet cranberries are grown in sandy bogs in the northern United States and northern Europe. They're available from October through December. Rich in vitamin C, fresh cranberries are sold only during those months; you'll find them year-round frozen, juiced, or sweetened and dried for snacks and baking.
No matter how they're used, cranberries add a welcome sweet and tart note to cold-weather dishes such as brisket or Thanksgiving turkey. Include them in baked goods for ruby-red color and, more important, zing.
Buying and Storing
When in season, look for bright-colored, firm cranberries in the produce section. Store in the original packaging for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, or up to one year in the freezer. To prep, rinse and discard any discolored or soft berries; if frozen, there's no need to thaw before use.
Cranberries arrive at market to help kick off the holidays with a festive hue and lively flavor that sparkle in cozy dinners and baked goods.