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II am so finished with OceanSpray cranberry sauce

Ok ... first I know some people consider home-made cranberry sauce far superior to canned. I am just not one of them. I love this stuff. Thanksgiving must have canned OceanSpray cut along the can lines.


Three problems this year

1. They changed the can.

Everyone knows the way to get cranbery sauce out of the can is to open the top and bottom and push the stuff out. They have new cans where the bottom cannot be easily opened ... turkey poop.

2. I read the ingrediant list this year

Corn syrup and high fructoce corn syrup. It would kill them to use sugar? If not, put out a more expensive version with real sugar.

3. There is little difference between the whole berry sauce and the jelled.

I needed both for different reasons. So I open the whole bery and it looked like the jelled. I looked at the label multiple times to make sure I opened the right can. If you break it up then it is sort of like whole berry.

Leave my cranberry sauce alone, Ocean Spray !!!

OK, it still tastes ok, but it makes me wonder how it would stand up against the original version.

Obviously OceanSpary would not quake in their boots about losing the business of the two or three cans I buy of the stuff. Still, it annoys me that next year I have to make it from scratch ... and it won't be jelled.

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  1. I love the jelled kind, too. I greatly prefer it to the homemade, labor intensive cranberry sauce.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sillyrabbit

      All you have to do is boil 3/4 cup of water, a cup of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, then stir in a bag of cranberries and simmer it for five minutes (until about two thirds of the berries have popped), then put it in a bowl and toss it in the fridge until dinner time. If you want to get fancy, you can throw in some orange zest or replace the water with champagne. It's even easier than mac and cheese from a box. I've made that very simple recipe for people who insisted on ONLY the canned stuff from Ocean Spray, and have made them instant converts.

      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

        Indeed. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and cook for half an hour, and if you strain it and put it in a container overnight, it comes out just like the stuff in the can--sort of solid-esque. But better tasting. You can cut it up however you like.

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          OOoooo... champagne! That sounds awesome.

          I've made my Dad's famous recipe for years, but I confess this is intriguing enough that I may try substituting that.

          As to canned cranberry sauce - blech. Taking the time to cook a turkey properly and then insulting it with canned cranberry sauce is akin to using powdered mashed potatoes and canned gravy.

        2. re: sillyrabbit

          Homemade cranberry sauce labor intensive? In a pig's eye! I make it every year never using the same recipe twice because I like to play with my food. Some kind of alcoholic libation always goes into it. This year it was Marsala wine. The people who join us for the Thanksgiving Day celebration always look forward to my new concoction.

          I don't wait until the last minute to make the cranberry sauce. It can be made in less than 40 minutes days in advance of the celebration and refrigerated until time for serving. Homemade cranberry sauce has so much more flavor than the canned stuff.

          1. re: ChiliDude

            Seriously! Nothing labor-intensive at all about this stuff. You stir it until the sugar dissolves as the water heats, get it boiling, toss in a bag of cranberries, stir them good, turn the fire down, set the timer for 10 minutes, and during that time you drift through the kitchen a time or two and stir it. When the timer goes off, you turn the fire off and go on with your life.

            When we used to go to my aunt Pat's for Thanksgiving years ago, she always had the canned stuff. She'd drop it whole out of the can into a pretty cut-glass butter dish, and it'd go on the table with a butter knife, or sometimes she'd slice it for us before she put it on the table. I can live with the canned whole-berry sauce if I have to, but making it myself is much better. I'm seriously thinking this year about making more than I need for the church dinner and putting a bunch of it in little dishes in the freezer to use over the year.

          2. re: sillyrabbit

            It takes me no time at all to whip up a batch. I use the recipe on the OC bag but substitute fresh orange juice for water and add plenty of grated orange rind and 1/2 c chopped toasted pecans. If that's too much work, just substitute cabernet or merlot for the water on the recipe and make per the recipe on the bag. Its easily made a day or two ahead and is so much prettier than the tube.

          3. I'm carrying a can in my purse to the restaurant. Luckily we're regulars but I failed to ask whether they were having c-sauce and dh says it isn't T-giving without it!!! I wouldn't know - can't stand the stuff.

            1. Funny, I just opened a can of Oceanspray myself and wondered why I had to hold it upside down to grab onto the can opener. It tasted like the same old jellied cranberry sauce I've always known but the pkg re-design caused me to double-take too.

              I love freshly made cranberry sauce as well but tend to buy the canned version just for the giggle :)

              1. Open both sides of the can??? Part of the fun has aleways been giving the up-ended opened can a bit of a shake and hearing the "schglooop" sound as the cylindrical contents slid out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  just poke a hole in the bottom end with an icepick. Then let the schglooping begin.

                2. If you must have it jellied, soften a package of unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup orange juice or some other flavorful liquid and stir it into the hot homemade cranberry sauce described above. You could even put it through a food mill for the strained version.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sheiladeedee

                    I think all you'd need to do is cook the berries longer, as cranberries are extremely high in pectin.

                  2. I make my cranberry about like Cosmic Jester does. Easy and delicious. But I ALSO love the Ocean Spray "whole berry" sauce! Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without one or the other (or, sometimes, even both). HAPPY TURKEY DAY, everyone.

                    1. I'm with RW with Ocean Spray, loved the stuff. Having a an away game this T so do not have to open. Too bad they wen from 3-piece to 2-piece can.

                      Try punching a hole in the other end to get some air into it. I think you'll still get that great whooshing sound and you can stll cut on the lines.

                      WRT the contents, it's T and we are all eating some unhealthy stuff. This new formula probably takes OS off the list for the rest of the year.

                      1. Okay, I have a question regarding making the homemade sauce. I made it from scratch using the pkg of oceanspray cranberries, sugar, orange juice,rind,and cinnamon stick. Simmered it until berries popped, etc. Tastes fine but what's with all the tiny seeds? Is it supposed to be like that? I brought along a can of the oceanspray whole cranberry sauce because I thought I screwed up.

                        1. As the OP's said, homemade is a breeze. If you want it to jell so that it's more like the canned, peel an apple or two, cut into thin, small pieces, and let it cook with the cranberries. The apples add a minimal amount of sweetness, but their natural pectin helps the sauce set. I've been making it this way for more than 20 years. If you want it smooth, like the can, put the cooled mixture through a sieve to get the berry pieces out before putting in the fridge.

                          1. Why bother cooking it? In a food processor, just grind up a bag of cranberries with a whole seedless orange (cut it into small chunks, peel & all) - I do the stop-start thing, as I don't want a puree. Then add sugar to taste. Make a couple days ahead of time. After T-day, use any remaining in muffins, bread pudding or with cut-up oranges & apples.

                            1. 1. They changed the can.

                              Everyone knows the way to get cranbery sauce out of the can is to open the top and bottom and push the stuff out. They have new cans where the bottom cannot be easily opened ... turkey poop.

                              I noticed this as well when I opened the can at my sister's. (I had made cranberry-orange relish, but some people had to have the canned.)

                              I used the opener on the top, and held it upside down and banged on the bottom with the heel of my hand - it "schgloooped" out within 5-6 bangs. :-)

                              (Sam Fujisaka, I LOVE that term - much better than "splooshed".)

                              I did NOT, however, realize they were now using HFCS and corn syrup in it! Which is why I stuck with my homemade cranberry-orange relish.

                              1. I made three different kinds of Cranberry Sauce this year. Orange Cranberry Relish, which is raw...my favorite. Regular, Cranberries, Sugar, Orange Juice, Salt, and a Conserve of Cranberries, Orange Rind, Preserved Ginger, Sugar, Grand Marnier and Brandy.

                                They were all delicious, but when I wanted to make myself a Turkey Sandwich, I ran out to the market to buy a little can of Ocean Spray Jellied, and put a slice on my sandwich. I love Cranberries, and Ocean Spray is still delicious.

                                I still have wonderful memories of Mom's glorious shimmering tall Cranberry Jello Mold.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Fleur

                                  You know, I was at this organic market and bought a can of Grown Right organic jellied cranberry sauce made not only with sugar, but organic sugar and damn it, it just didn't taste as good as OceanSpray's HFCS version. It was too tart. Not enough sugar or maybe their adding organic lemon concentrate was a mistake, causing the tartness. Organic aroma concentrate? What's that all about?

                                2. If you look for Naturipe organic cranberries they have a vary easy whole sauce on the back of the label is realy easy and taste vary vary goood.

                                  1. IIRC Trader Joes has some varieties of cranberry relish, always without HFCS. Those of you from the Far North have even better options made from Lingonberry, low bush Cranberries or their botanic relatives. That's right, IKEA always has the former available for a fair price.
                                    I haven't touched Ocean Spray in years.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                      I would think that Whole Foods, or a local natural foods grocer, would have an organic version. I thought WF was eliminating all their products with HFCS, but then yesterday I saw Paul Newman lemonade there, which has it.

                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                        I read the labels on some of the Paul Newman products and contacted the company about the unhealthy ingredients. They told me how much good the company is doing and how people are buying it to help. Would not address the problem. ALWAYS read the label and whenever you can, make it yourself.

                                        1. re: imdone8

                                          That's surprising about Paul Newman products. I just assumed they used better ingrediants. It is surprising what you find out reading labels.

                                          I got over the Ocean Spray thing this year mainly because a store was selling it 3 for $1 ... a little HFCS wouldn't kill me at that price, eh?

                                          Wish I head read the post about sqeezing the more pliable can. I still poked at it with a knife,pounded on the can and cursed Oceanspray out a bit.

                                          Anyway, I will continue my search and check out what WF and TJ's are selling.

                                          1. re: rworange

                                            jfood feels your pain and this year created an interesting chuckle.

                                            jfood purchased one can of each. When he brougth them home he thought the company placed the lables upside down then realized that they wanted the flat end on the table.

                                            Mrs jfood opened the can and she had no problem getting the jellied redness onto the plate.

                                            Jfood thought he was the only one who used the can lines as a guide. Glad to see there is another nut out there, thank you very much.

                                            The taste was the same as every other year. a bunch of sweetness making the tongue look like a tunnel.

                                            BTW, almost all of PN's products are crap. Here in CT we see every one of them. jfood would rather write a check directly to the charity that having 100% of profits go there. Please let him write a check for $25 versus having him eat $100 worth of that crap.

                                    2. I seem to remember that there was a recipe on the bag if you want just jellied cranberry sauce, as well as the nice whole berry stuff, which I make in mass quantities for our church Thanksgiving dinner every year.

                                      1. The new can isn't as stiff as the old. You can actually give it a little squeeze and drive that goo right outta there!

                                        I think it's had HFCS for many years. I seems to recall seeing it in there 10 years ago when I was obsessed with reading ingredients. For once-a-year Turkey Day, I say it's all about taste and tradition. Health be damned!

                                        1. Did they really only just start making it with HFCS this year?

                                          You can make it jelled at home, just use less water than the package calls for (I think someone else mentioned 3/4 cup water which sounds right.) Or you could just cook it down a little further, just to give you that extra-cooked-in-the-can tang. ;)

                                          1. To each their own preference. I've never enjoyed the 'jellied' variety on the plate with a turkey meal. I've always liked the whole berry better. About the only thing I consider the jellied variety good for is for adding it on to turkey sandwiches from the leftovers. Actually for about the last five years we don't even bother with the canned stuff anymore since my BH has been making a whole berry cranberry sauce from a recipe that calls for packaged whole cranberries from the produce section, orange zest, surgar, and brandy and cooked/baked in the oven. Really easy to make and YUM! It is so superior to the canned stuff I now call the canned stuff, well what it is...crap in a can (I mean come on...corn syrup...high fructose corn syrup). We have taken the 'homemade' to a few holiday parties and even people who claim they don't really like cranberry sauce who taste it, end up asking for more and the recipe.

                                            1. Went to T-Day 2 on Friday as usual at my niece's house down in San Diego. Total of seven adults and nine kids. My niece had both kinds of canned Ocean Spray and called for a vote. Most of the adults preferred the whole-berry kind, but the kids were unanimous with the jellied. Nephew Nico summed it up: "It has to be can-shaped!" So can-shaped it was, sliced up and looking like a plate full of limp beets...