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butterfly

cranberries in madrid?

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I've never seen fresh cranberries in Spain, but then again I've never looked before... We've got a guiri gathering planned for Thanksgiving and I would like to make cranberry sauce from scratch if I can get my hands on some...

Has anyone seen fresh cranberries lately at their local market? I asked around at our market (Mercado de la Cebada) and our usual fruterías and no one has them or knows what they are. I have been referring to them as arándanos agrios (trying to distinguish them from the somewhat more available blueberry/arándano)? Is there another name for them? Or is this a lost cause?

Thanks!

Here's a picture of the fruit in question, if that helps:

canning-cranberry-juice-pic.jpg

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Not sure if you thought of this, but a similar item to look out for might be lignonberries which are related to cranberries but are grown in Northern Europe. If not fresh lignonberries, dried berries/compote/preserves might serve... The German name for these types of berries is "Preiselbeern".

Good luck!


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The cranberry is a native American berry, and it is not produced in Europe AFAIK. In the UK you find them - imported from the US. Small round berries of the cranberry/blueberry family are not wildly popular in southern European countries because they are definitely northerly and, until recently, uncommon in these parts. The closest Spanish cousin you'll find is the arándano, i.e. the bilberry, known in France as myrtille - the smaller European cousin of the blueberry. You'll also find canned cranberry juice...


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Yes, sorry, I realize that they are an American phenomenon. Even we don't give cranberries a second thought 11.5 months out of the year. I just thought there might be some obsure market stall somewhere in Madrid that might import a case around this time of year... Incidentally, the store Taste of America imports cases of the canned cranberry sauce, but no fresh ones.

And thanks for the info on bilberries. I knew the arándanos here were slightly different from American blueberries, but I didn't realize they were a completely different species.

And, ludja, thanks also. But I fear I would be in the same boat trying to find lingonberries here...

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I didn't realize they were a completely different species.

Not completely different - they both belong to a large genus, or botanical family: Vaccinium. This includes Vaccinium myrtillus, the European bilberry; Vaccinium macrocarpum, the cranberry, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea var. minus, the lingonberry. According to the ever-useful Wikipedia, of the many types of North American blueberry, the most commonly cultivated one is Vaccinium corymbosum, the Northern Highbush Blueberry.


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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As Vsera said Spain is a little to far south for cranberry like Vaccinium spp like lingonberries and cowberries. There former was very common at the market in Lithuania a last month.

Anyway, one suggestion is this. Does Madrid have an IKEA? If so you are able to get lingon berry products from there. Possibly they have frozen in stock, so you could contact them.

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As Vsera said Spain is a little to far south for cranberry like Vaccinium spp like lingonberries and cowberries. There former was very common at the market in Lithuania a last month.

Anyway, one suggestion is this. Does Madrid have an IKEA? If so you are able to get lingon berry products from there. Possibly they have frozen in stock, so you could contact them.

I would have been surprised to hear of fresh lignonberries down there, but IKEA is a great idea. All the stores in the US have a small food section and they have various lignonberry products.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Of course Ikea has them in their really nice food department (just last week I bought some cloudberry jam and gravad lax...). But not fresh, of course. Then again - no cranberries!


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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The cranberry is a native American berry, and it is not produced in Europe AFAIK. In the UK you find them - imported from the US. Small round berries of the cranberry/blueberry family are not wildly popular in southern European countries because they are definitely northerly and, until recently, uncommon in these parts. The closest Spanish cousin you'll find is the arándano, i.e. the bilberry, known in France as myrtille - the smaller European cousin of the blueberry. You'll also find canned cranberry juice...

Cranberries grow wild in Scandinavia and have to my knowledge at least at some stage been farmed. I have seen different types of cranberries in Scandinavia. They have historically mostly been used to make liqueur not unlike Cassis de Dijon, but with cranberry taste, and perhaps more important to flavour vodka. More recently juice of cranberries seems to have gain in popularity but this may be made from imported berries.


When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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Of course Ikea has them in their really nice food department (just last week I bought some cloudberry jam and gravad lax...). But not fresh, of course. Then again - no cranberries!

Cloudberries are perhaps the only produce that I personally think gain from being preserved. They are not particularly interesting fresh regardless of what is done with them. The problem with the preserved ones is that often there is slightly too much sugar and other additions.


When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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Thanks for the leads. I think mine is a lost cause. As for Ikea... yes, there are two in Madrid--one in San Sebastian de los Reyes and another in Alcorcón. They carry a whole host of lingonberry preserves, but no fresh produce (but they do have those lovely toasts with cardamom). But if I were going for preserves, then I'll just get canned cranberry sauce from Taste of America (in Salamanca)...


Edited by butterfly (log)

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Not that it will help this year but maybe next, latvia, Lithuania are both trying to introduce cranberries into some bogs. They hope to have a crop by '06. I read this in a Agriculture trade paper I saw . Also in Western Russia they have been growing cranberries for years. Not sure if they are going to be easier to get from there but at least its closer.


David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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A day late and a euro short... I found out that Hespen y Suárez (the one place that I forgot to check; C/Barceló, 15) imported bags of fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving.

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Butterfly,

Anytime you want to swap cranberries for some Iberico ( or chorizo, Manchego viella, or any other great things from there.) let me know. I will fed-ex you some.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.


David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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I've just found (and bought) Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice at Carrefour (the French-owned hypermarkets) in Madrid.

This is probably the end of European civilization as we knew it...


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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El Corte Ingles (Preciados) has carried cranberry juice for some time. If this is indeed a harbinger of the end, then you can console yourself by mixing it with vodka, a splash of soda, and a slice of lime.

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On 11/26/2005 at 2:36 PM, butterfly said:

A day late and a euro short... I found out that Hespen y Suárez (the one place that I forgot to check; C/Barceló, 15) imported bags of fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving.

I'll check this out. Delayed the dinner until Sunday, so there's still time.,

 

Thanks

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On 11/26/2005 at 2:36 PM, butterfly said:

A day late and a euro short... I found out that Hespen y Suárez (the one place that I forgot to check; C/Barceló, 15) imported bags of fresh cranberries for Thanksgiving.

Looks like Hespen y Suárez have gone out of business. Too bad.

 

Today I did find dried cranberries (from Canada) at Mercadona, might try those next year.

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