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Rant: What is WRONG with the canned cranberry people?

Why, oh why, do so many people prefer...nay, DEMAND...canned cranberry sauce? The kind with lines in it from the can, quivering in the little dish. When there is homemade whole berry sauce sitting next to it? I don't mean some frou-frou cranberry sauce with ginger and persimmons and god knows what else...but simple , fresh cranberry sauce made recently from fresh cranberries.

Not only a large percentage of my extended family, but my own husband, known to have decent taste in food, fall in this category.

My mother and I were discussing this Sunday. She has decided to cave in, slap the gelatinous crap on the table, and forget casting the cranberry-colored pearls before swine.

I suggested these people need to be reeducated. Perhaps a make-shift camp in the spare bedroom where full cans from Ocean Spray can be dropped from counter height on their bare feet until they see the light.

I'm tongue in cheek of course. Help me understand what you see in the canned stuff !

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  1. Childhood. And the smooth texture. I make cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries (and my Dh insists on mucking it up with apples and pineapple, etc.) and I buy a couple of cans of Ocean Spray for myself post Thanksgiving (and throughout the year with roasted chicken).

    I think you are the one who needs to be reeducated on what's important in life. Cranberry sauce preference doesn't even make the short list.

    1. spread it on bread/toast for your turkey sandwich

      mix it with cottage cheese

      I ate both of those yesterday

      2 Replies
      1. re: laliz

        Second on the sandwich spread. Good times.

        1. re: Pylon

          Pylon, in case you didn't see my post further down-thread, i recently discovered a fabulous sandwich spread substitute if you don't have the canned stuff on hand [or if, like me, you won't eat it anymore because of the HFCS]...Trader Joe's Cranberry Apple Butter tastes almost exactly the same, and the smooth, thick consistency is perfect for spreading.

      2. Probably no help, but as a child I didn't like to eat whole cranberries cooked by my Mom (an excellent cook). I loved the taste, but not the texture. I can eat home cooked cranberries now, but nobody makes them, and if i am buying in a can, it will be the smooth sauce. It is also easier to get the taste to a grandchildren, if it is smooth. LOL
        I was the same way about Oyster stew. Give me the soup, without the oysters, but loved fried oysters. Go figure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: soapstix1

          My brother makes a wonderful Oyster Stew Florentine with spinach and prosuitto and our daughter loves it without the oysters which is fine with the rest of us as there are more oysters for us.

        2. Some people like jam, others like jelly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            Nostalgia. My mother always made the real thing, but also always had the canned variety on the table.

            People still eat Jello, and it ain't all that.

            I wonder, though, have they reduced the amount of product in the can? I'd be more inclined to get in a tizzy about that.

          2. Why do people eat roast chicken instead of fried? Or sliced breast meat instead of a drumstick. Or plain bread when there's toast.

            That something is made with an ingredient in common doesn't mean its the same thing. Texture and flavor, it turns out, matter. At my house we have a fresh cranberry relish and jellied cranberry sauce. They're different things. They both taste good.

            17 Replies
            1. re: ccbweb

              So... would you theorize that if one made fresh cranberry sauce, purreed and strained it, and let it jell...that would be fine with the canned crowd? They wouldn't shun it because it's not cylindrically shaped and marked with little lines from the can?

              1. re: danna

                I've never had anyone make jellied cranberry sauce at home, so I'd have to try it before I could say. But it's a nominal price to pay for something that gives people warm memories or they simply enjoy. This is one time the whole "you can make it for less" argument doesn't fly.

                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  I've made it at home, and, frankly, it's just very different from what you get in the can. I like both my cranberry relish, and the jelly out of the can.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    i 100% agree with mmruth. SOMETIMES, you just gotta have the cranberry jelly from ocean spray. i bought 4 cans just yesterday!

                    i like to make the fresh cran relish with orange and jalapeno. sweet, hot, tart, and -- depending on the spices (like cumin) -- savory, too.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Agree - it's just one of those Thanksgiving traditions when the entire family gets together. How many articles have we all read that, no matter what, Thanksgiving is the one meal a year that you just don't change? We can change Christmas, Easter, Independence Day meals - but you do NOT screw around with Thanksgiving dinner!

                      It'll probably be just me and my mother this year (sister and BIL are going elsewhere) so we'll just stick with the cranberry-orange relish as that's what we both prefer. I'd like to "muck it up" with some freshly grated ginger, but not sure if she'll go for that. :-)

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        The thing that bothers me is when our food traditions center around processed canned goods made in far off factories rather than in our own kitchens. It just seems wrong to me, in the same way that people find comfort from the fake food at McDonald's because they grew up having birthday parties there, playing on the slides in the playgrounds.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          So this is a call to eat entirely locally?

                          Because I really don't see a lot of difference between sweetened fruit that happens to be in a can and combining a bag of cranberries from a far off bog with some sugar from another far off place.

                          Not all "processed" food is the same and we often paint with far too broad a brush in these kinds of things.

                          1. re: ccbweb

                            Not a call to eat entirely locally per se, but certainly a call to consider whether our nostalgic feelings for something artificial are misguiding our loyalties.

                            Mr Taster

                              1. re: alkapal

                                >>OS cran is not artificial.

                                Of course it isn't. And it is soooooooooo delicious, especially (as learned here in this thread) mixed with mayo.

                                And who cares what's made locally, I sure don't.

                                And after all, we are all entitled to eat just what we want, when we want, aren't we? Of course we are. Bless Ocean Spray's little heart, thank you for your canned cranberry sauce.

                            1. re: ccbweb

                              "far off bog" - HA! That cracked me up!

                              I have to say, I prefer homemade, but there is still a little place in my heart that loves the canned stuff. You can't get much more American than canned cranberry goop that jiggles. It's just funny!

                            2. re: Mr Taster

                              "far off factories" - meaning Michigan if you live in MA? Or the Pacific Northwest? Cranberries are harvested mostly in New England, northern Midwest states, a few Northwestern states and Canadian provinces.

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranberr...

                              And I don't think most people's "food traditions" for Thanksgiving center around processed foods - unless you're counting the turkey processing, the potato processing, the carrot processing, the brussel sprout processing.......having one canned item that (unfortunately) might have HFCS in it? If that's what was tradition in your family growing up? I don't see anything wrong with it.

                              Cranberry sauce isn't "artificial" - it's cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water. Yeah - it sucks that it now has HFCS in it. But having one "processed" item on a table groaning with freshly made Thanksgiving-related foods? If people want it when I'm hosting Thanksgiving, I'll put it on the table. But as I said - we had *freshly made* orange-cranberry relish on our table this year.

                          2. re: alkapal

                            I was brought up on the imprinted gel from the almighty can, but like a lot of other canned stuff I have shunned it ever since, having discovered I delight in the glory of fresh produce. So when invited elsewhere for Thanksgiving I always volunteer to bring, among other things, my (very simple) homemade cranberry sauce. So far everyone has seemed to appreciate it, and I figure if someone has a real penchant for the canned stuff they will bring it along.
                            I have added orange zest and walnuts on occaision, reserving an unaltered bowl for the purists, but I really like the sounds of the jalapeno addition. Can I add some (oh, dear, I must confess,) from a jar in my fridge? The cumin sounds really strange to me but I'd be willing to try... I do like cumin. Would you be willing to share recipes?

                            1. re: LINDUTCH

                              lindutch, make your regular stuff, then set aside some to experiment with the cumin -- i recall using just a pinch.

                              and yes, you could use the jalapeno from the fridge, but i like the little crunch from the fresh minced, but added near the end of cooking. i learned from mario that the red pepper added at the beginning "heats the whole dish", while added late, gives little seemingly random bursts of heat in this or that particular spoonfull.

                              i was surprised when i cooked the jalapeno from the beginning of the dish; it took more jalapeno than i thought it would to give the dish "heat". test your fresh jalapeno by taking a bite. there is so much heat variation these days. for some assurance of heat, i'd use a serrano pepper, too.

                              another advantage of fresh is that the fresh doesn't add any "vinegary" flavor (if the fridge ones are stored in vinegar.) i believe canned ones don't necessarily have vinegar added.

                      2. re: danna

                        I can't speak for the "canned crowd" generally....I suppose if the end result was the same that it might fly. Clearly, some people are after tradition or some nostalgia in some cases, too.

                        1. re: danna

                          No, absolutely not,

                          One year I got on my high horse and decided to reject Ocean Spray because it had HFCS. I bought organic, I bought expensive. They may have had superior ingredients but they didn't have the same taste. I went back to Ocean Spray.

                          Year after year my mother would get creative with cranberry sauce. Year after year she was the only one who ate the homemade stuff while everyone else ate Ocean Spray.

                          The lines are a feature ... it shows you where to slice.

                          Make yourself some from cranberries and make everyone else happy by serving Ocean Spray. I will tell you after decades, I've never had a fresh cranberry sauce that made me as happy as the stuff with the lines on the side of it.

                          You will not make anyone see they light. You will just annoy them. They will talk about you. Serve the Ocean Spray.

                          It is like catsup. That fancy house made stuff never tastes as good as Heinz.

                          1. re: rworange

                            Good answer, rworange. Imagine Hunt's trying to get in the ketchup business? Didn't they even call it 'catsup', for pity sake?????

                      3. Here's a random use of the canned cranberry sauce- mix a few slices with Dannon Lite & Fit Vanilla yogurt for a parfait type treat.

                        Personally, I don't really eat it cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving because I have a fruit and meat issue but I also have a texture thing with cooked fruit so the smooth texture of the canned variety is much more appealing to me.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: lhb78

                          I'm with you on the fruit/ meat thing. I once declined a 'turkey sandwich' ordered out when it came, without warning, slathered with cranberry sauce. Just wasn't the warm savory turkey flavor I anticipated at all. Ruined, as far as I was concerned. At Thanksgiving I treat my cranberry sauce rather like a dessert, waiting until all else is consumed before serving myself a worthy helping.

                          1. re: LINDUTCH

                            I'm in your group. I make my own cranberry sauces, plain and spiced with orange and apple, Too sweet to touch the savory hot turkey or cold turkey sandwich. I eat the sauce by itself once the meal or sandwich is gone.

                        2. I love both canned and fresh home made! But (and as I mentioned a couple of years back) the extra thing that the canned has is the "SCCHHGGGLLLOOOOPPPP" as it gives birth from the inverted can, starting slowly and then gaining speed, hitting the plate or bowl full-blown, quivering and trying to right itself to show off those beautiful can lines!!! Such an important holiday experience! Gads, danna, get with the program!

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            He he - that's funny and I know exactly the sound you mean. We slice the jelly up nicely, garnish the plate, and on to the table it goes. Do you serve it unsliced?

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Standing up whole, definitely, with a face stuck on from Potato Head / Mr Potato.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Hmm ... that I'd have a little more difficulty with. <grin>

                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  Seriously? I know where the 50 year old Mr. Potato Head box is in my dad's library- maybe I need to inject some humor into the day.

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    i place the jellied whole on its side, to show off its cute wavy "wrinkles" -- in a pretty white dish just a little larger than the cranjelly. then at dinner, i cut off a nice slab for my plate, then go to town with the stuffing and turkey and cran on the same forkful.

                                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    Could you film that - please try to shoot from an artistic angle - and put it on YouTube for me?

                                    1. re: danna

                                      Years ago there was a T-giving episode of The Simpsons where Bart served "Cranberries a la Bart" straight from the can, lines and all until the cylinder collapsed into a pile of jelly. That 30 second clip of animated brilliance is what I think of every year when my aunt insists on serving canned cranberries. I always requested them as a teenager, and now it's one of those embarrassing childhood quirks that I've outgrown but no one in the family believes me.

                                      1. re: mpjmph

                                        My family still says this EVERY YEAR when we de-can the cranberry sauce. I even say it sometimes when I'm by myself. :)

                                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      Sam, you let it slide? Somewhere along the years, there was PR about opening both ends of the can and using one lid to 'push' the cylinder out of the can.

                                      Good stuff.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        I wish it was still that way! Unfortunately, all the cans now are supposed to be stored upside down so there's already air in the top to make it slide out and one end is rounded so you can't use a can opener. It just doesn't work for me! I have to stick a knife in and push on one side to get enough air to make it slide out.

                                        The reason I have always served jellied cranberry sauce is because that's what we always had growing up. It wasn't until a few years ago, that I ever saw recipes for making the whole berry stuff. Even though we grew up 800 miles apart, my significant other always had jellied cranberry sauce as well. This year, I'll be buying a can, just in case, but am going to make my own.

                                        1. re: alliedawn_98

                                          Yikes, alliedawn, that shows has long it has been since I bought the stuff.

                                          Sooeygun, it made no sense but my mother made the real stuff AND we had the canned jellied. Go figure!

                                          Not quite, bnemes, never had stuffing from a box and never will.

                                          But ah the jellied in a can. Good stuff.

                                          1. re: alliedawn_98

                                            Phui! You were quite right, alliedawn. They changed the graphics and the end of the can -- 'open other side'. I expect if I pierce the end with an old fashioned can opener, it will slide out?

                                            Looking forward to it, thanks to this thread for giving me a hankering.

                                            1. re: dolores

                                              just opened a can yesterday. per can instructions, ran knife around inside of can -- between can and jelly. be careful, or you'll get thin segments (sheetlike) adhering to the can. just had some on a sandwich with turkey and dressing.

                                              ps, don't use potato bread hot dog buns for turkey and dressing sandwiches.

                                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          hehehehehehe LOL! "Scchggllloooopppp!" Once again you nailed it Sam! :D

                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                            Sam -- do you use a church key to punch two or three little holes in the bottom of the can to break the vacuum?

                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                              No! Haven't seen one of those in ages. Just a strong down and up snap of the wrist holding the can open mouth down.

                                          2. I am curious. When people talk about the canned stuff, they seem to only mention the jelly. We have always used canned (only a couple of people eat it so not worth making), but it is chock full of whole cranberries. Anyone use that type?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Sooeygun

                                              Yes, that version of canned is definitely better. But still not as good as fresh made (which takes all of about 10 minutes to do).

                                              1. re: Sooeygun

                                                I buy it when I don't have cranberries in the freezer. I find it far too sweet.

                                                1. re: Sooeygun

                                                  Nobody in my family likes plain cranberry sauce, so you would think it wouldn't be worth making, but my tarted up recipe (adapted from my father in law) with mandarin oranges, walnuts, allspice and port always gets eaten in its entirety (and takes all of 10 minutes to make)

                                                2. I am sooo with you on this. I had the quivering mass as a kid and would never think of serving it now. Maybe it's the folks who also like stuffing from a box...

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: bnemes3343

                                                    Nope! I can't stand stuffing from a box. Growing up, Grandma always made the best dressing (as we called it) out of cornbread, biscuits, broth, etc. I'm still trying to perfect making it like she did/does. She doesn't use a recipe so I'm having to experiment until I get it right.

                                                    1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                      Yes! that's our dressing, too. My method of making it starts like this...my Mom makes extra cornbread. My Mom makes extra biscuits. She crumbles them up, puts them in a ziplock, and gives it to me for the freezer. When I make dressing, I mix that w/ stock,egg,sauteed onion and celery and sage. When the day comes that the Mom part is removed from the recipe...dressing is going to be a lot harder to make...on more than one level.

                                                      1. re: danna

                                                        Yep, that's what I'm talking about but minus the sage as that's not a popular ingredient in our family. I can only take it in very small doses and the rest of my family are more salt and pepper in taste. lol

                                                        I have my cornbread in the freezer. I really should make some biscuits up this week so I have those ready to go. I have chicken stock in the freezer which is what my grandmother uses so will probably use that since I don't have any turkey stock.

                                                        1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                          you're smart to have all that frozen, including the stock. I think my Mom does frozen chick stock as well. I have, in the past, ripped the legs off my turkey , roasted them separately from the bird, and used them to make turkey stock. Since nobdy wants to eat the legs anyway. I'm a thigh/breast eater, and my husband is strictly breast.

                                                          While I'm confessing...here's my weird T'giving tradition: I go eat w/ my extended family on T-giving. My aunt makes the Butterball turkey. She "roasts" it in a pan with the lid on, basting w/ wine, so the turkey stays "moist". The moist part is up for individual determination, I suppose, i say no meat is moist when it's overcooked. She doesn't always overcook it...but apparently she can't tell the differance on the occasions when she does. Of course there is no crisp skin. And she pre-slices it before bringing to the gathering, so no "presentation". So.....

                                                          On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, little Miss Food Snob cooks her own organic free-range turkey for our family of 2, and it's fantastic. Fortunately, the husband has an unending capacity for turkey-eating. And if he wants canned c-berry sauce, he knows where BI-LO is. ;-)

                                                          1. re: danna

                                                            :::::sob::::: No crispy turkey skin? I've said it before, I'll say it again - absolute sacrilege!

                                                  2. When talking about homemade versions, several styles come to mind:

                                                    - uncooked relish, usually cranberries ground together with oranges etc.

                                                    - simple cooked sauce, berries and sugar

                                                    - chutney - berries cooked with dried fruits and spices like garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and hot pepper. I keep mine on the dry side.

                                                    1. My parents were from the southwest. Fresh cranberries were unavailable. When they were grown and married my dad was an Air Force Pilot. You got what was available at the commissary or local stores. Until we moved to the northeast all that was available was canned cranberry sauce and I still don't remember fresh berries being available in the grocery store until the 60's. By then canned cranberry sauce was the tradition in my family. We all now make our own fresh sauce but sometimes that quivering slab is perfect on a turkey sandwich.

                                                      1. Because Thanksgiving is all about ritual, not cuisine. I speak as one whose cranberry/port/fig sauce is consistently outgunned by Ocean Spray.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. As far as jfood is concerned, he has to have the canned stuuf or it does not feel like Thanksgiving.

                                                          He read the article about opening both ends and pushing but it took all the enjoyment out of it. And Sam's description of the sound is spot on, thak you Sammy. But let's continue on the pleasure. As it slides out of the can with the aforementioned sound, it is important to pull the can away. Then jfood's two favorite parts.

                                                          1 - When it first hits the plate it wiggloes like one of those hula dancer bobble heads. Yes Thanklsgiving has commenced.
                                                          2 - Then the slicing. As far as Jfood is concerned the marks from the can are the cutting guidance system. The form perfect sized slices.

                                                          So count jfood into the boat on liking the canned jellied red stuff.

                                                          1. I made real cranberry sauce last year and I was surprised that aside from the texture it didn't taste any different to the canned stuff. So' I don't see what anyone has against either!

                                                            1. I started making home-made cranberry sauce when I was in fourth or fifth grade. Ever since i made it my parents demand it on the table at thanksgiving. We still serve the jelly stuff, but only cause my 8 year old sister likes it. However, i don't think it would be thanksgiving without the quivering mass on the table, still shaped like the can.

                                                              1. Very funny! I couldn't stand the sight of the cylindrical foodstuff plopped from a can into a bowl. Then, when I started drinking cranberry juice, I thought I should try the sauce. I bought a bag of fresh berries the niight before Thanksgiving a few years back. As they were cooking, I was mesmerized by the beautiful edible sweet rubies in my sauce pan.

                                                                Why some people prefer the can--just another mystery of the universe!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                  >>Why some people prefer the can

                                                                  Because we can. Pun intended.

                                                                2. The jelly version is absolutely essential to the late Thanksgiving night turkey/dressing/cranberry sandwich.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: cavandre

                                                                    cavandre, that is absolutely correct. homemade cran sauce on the sandwich is not what i'm looking for. and on that sandwich, very little turkey is needed. for me, the dressing is the star. and i serve it on nice untoasted white bread (i'm likin' arnold's country white these days) with mayo, too. <and bah on you mayo haters!>

                                                                    the whole grain breads and the fancy cran sauce can come the next day or two.

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      I've never been a fan of dressing on a sandwich - it seems like a bread sandwich to me. But, to each his own.

                                                                      That's what I hope you'll say when I admit my obsession with turkey and miracle whip (I hate mayonaise!) My sister has Thanksgiving dinner for the family and she ALWAYS gets a small jar of miracle whip just for me. I love it any time, but with my turkey, it's a necessity.

                                                                      1. re: joyfulwrites

                                                                        To each his own...but keep the Miracle Whip away from my sandwich!

                                                                  2. My sister and I rotate Thanksgiving for 25 > 30.The pink goo was a real peeve,requested
                                                                    but never more than one small spoonful missing,?eaten.We had no problem with the request.The complete waste was so not right. ON THANKSGIVING !!

                                                                    Those who insist it be on the table need to be the people EATING IT .My sister and I solved the ??? by taking a no nonsense tactic.We remembered the where is it,must have
                                                                    it whiners,then gave each a nice spoonful to eat.THE ENTIRE ISSUE WENT AWAY IN ONE YEAR.That was about 20years ago.It's still a large unchanged crowd.

                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                    1. re: lcool

                                                                      pink goo? PINK GOO?!

                                                                      goodness alive, that is just sheer libel!

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        Two or more hours later, warm,spreading east and west on a silver dish.Original length,drifting out the middle only ?chemical corset.I stand by pink goo.

                                                                        1. re: lcool

                                                                          wow, a chemical corset!

                                                                          but wouldn't you describe the color as a deep rosy red?

                                                                          sure it was ocean spray? i thought it would remain in shape for a while. generic store brands i have compared do not taste or "behave" the same, imo. (but how many manufacturers actually make the stuff?)

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            To turn back 20 plus years.Very few things were RED.The food industry had not worked the kinks out of colouring agents after the loss of the historic ones
                                                                            for safety/cancer reasons.The last time I looked at a can it had more than 2
                                                                            ingredients.
                                                                            Now that there is mention of corn by-products in the shelf version it would be out of the question.Many of us in the family are sensative > allergic to same.

                                                                            25 > 30 plus years ago OCEAN SPRAY wasn't the huge all encompassing
                                                                            co-op it is today.Cranberry sales were a pittance compared to now.The co-op
                                                                            muscle is an impressive successful marketing tool.My guess would be OCEAN SPRAY is the only game in town,or nearly.Creating a market for the
                                                                            berries,stable prices and fixed outlets tend to bruise the competition.
                                                                            ? how many manufacturers are there,clueless...I haven't been in the grocery store fruit and veggie aisle in years.

                                                                            1. re: lcool

                                                                              Cranberries and sweetener. Even today. No artificial colors or preservatives or even any natural colors or flavors or any such thing.

                                                                              If it were cranberries and sugar and nothing else, would that be a problem? (I get that High Fructose Corn Syrup changes things for many people.)

                                                                              1. re: lcool

                                                                                I have an American Indian rug dyed a beautiful red from cranberries, why would you think they would have to add red food coloring to make cranberry sauce red????

                                                                                1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                                                  I am clueless to why.However until real effort goes into processing/
                                                                                  cooking/shelf life etc colour can fade off.Thinking of cherries at the moment,it is very hard to preserve the colour.
                                                                                  This was more than 20 / 25 years ago.

                                                                            2. re: lcool

                                                                              High fructose corn syrup debate notwithstanding (its a relatively recent thing in the context of Thanksgiving traditions):

                                                                              One of the things that baffles me about the vociferous objections to it is that jellied cranberry sauce is cranberries and sweetener. That's it. No chemicals. Just fruit and sugar in a can. I understand not liking it, thinking its too sweet and so on. But I'm constantly confused about the objection to it on some sort of principle.

                                                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                I was going to say the same thing! HFCS is relatively recent, and the canned-cranberry hatred has been around longer than HCFS.

                                                                                From a purely economical/food waste perspective, the can is probably much better for some families. I bought 2 bags of whole berries last week for $3. Those berries made enough sauce for 3 meals/events. Add the admittedly minimal cost of sugar and the time I spent making it, and homemade berries are slightly more expensive than the canned. If you have whole berry haters, then add on the time it takes to process/strain the "good stuff."

                                                                                If you only one T-day gathering that need cranberries, and only need a small amount then you're much better off in terms of time an money spending $1 for a can of Ocean Spray.

                                                                                Of course, the addition of HFCS has me leaning towards the make it yourself camp just because I'm sick of HFCS showing up everywhere.

                                                                                1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                  The thing was NOBODY ATE ANY,this after numerous requests from the same 8 or 9 adults.They were vociferous in "need", completely unabashed in
                                                                                  the out come of complete waste.So the objection was to the silly waste.
                                                                                  AS IT STILL IS
                                                                                  Perhaps another reason it isn't consumed we don't cook turkey until Saturday
                                                                                  two days after Thanksgiving.There will be 42 for certain this year,not including children under 10,maybe more.Half stay all week til Sunday,if after all that time no one ate ANY why bother.Haven't been down the vegetable aisle in years,cranberry sauce seems like a fools errand.

                                                                                  My sister says she has a can,she dated 22 years ago.It was kept when she renovated for new kitchen and pantry.AS A REMINDER
                                                                                  I'll read that old lable,for sure it isn't OCEAN SPRAY.Also more than 2 ingredients,per my brother in law.

                                                                                  1. re: lcool

                                                                                    There are only three ingredients in Ocean Spray jellied cranberry... cranberries, HFCS and water. HFCS aside, there are no chemicals, and no need for YELLING.

                                                                            3. re: lcool

                                                                              >>THE ENTIRE ISSUE WENT AWAY IN ONE YEAR.

                                                                              Awwww, how sad.

                                                                            4. Someone said it best - some people like jam, some like jellies. Thanksgiving is not the time to puff up and dictate what people SHOULD like....put 'em both on the table if you want, but pass the gelatinous, purple, ridge-covered stuff my way and keep your disturbingly-textured homemade away!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: lindsley

                                                                                A few years back I decided no more canned cranberry sauce and that I would make a proper homemade cranberry sauce that I loved and that many people on this site would likely appreciate. There was outright rebellion-and these are from people who normally eat anything and everything and are used to many home-made dishes. Back to the can and they were happy. Just something you have to accept.

                                                                              2. texture.
                                                                                oh, and I like it with cottage cheese as mentioned earlier, and on my turkey sammies. :)

                                                                                1. one time i was a guest at turkey day dinner -- NO cranberry anything! shocked my conscience. ;-)

                                                                                  i think we'd all agree ("can't we all just get along"), that you need that cran-tartness to cut the richness of just about everything else on the table. speaking of... please, please, please don't get me started on the horrible, seemingly ubiquitous campbell's mushroom soup and canned fried onions green bean casserole! what an insipid, gummy waste of calories. blech and double-blech.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                    "NO cranberry anything!"
                                                                                    ~~~~~~
                                                                                    Jeffrey Steingarten would have been in hog [or turkey?] heaven at that dinner! he always rants on ICA about how he hates cranberries, and doesn't understand why people insist on serving them for T-giving. personally i love them any time of year...and whenever he starts hating on the cranberries, i wish i could just tell him to shove it :)

                                                                                    i have very fond childhood memories of those Ocean Spray cans, primarily because of the release sound that Sam captured so beautifully...and because i was the designated slicer and i took the job very seriously. jfood was absolutely right, those ridges are the perfect slicing guides.

                                                                                    i haven't had the stuff in years - i started making my own a long time ago - but as i recall, a slice was absolutely necessary/condiment for leftover turkey sandwiches. in fact, i think that's the only way i ever ate it.

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      We always have some cranberry recipe on the table.I suppose at least 25 different ones.
                                                                                      Who ever brought is to leave with it.The one last year ported out at the end of the meal
                                                                                      PRISTINE.A Martha Stewart recipe that reads well ,did not even get tasted.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        One year I went to a restaurant buffet where they didn't put cranberry sauce on the table. For some mysterious reason there was a huge crock of tartar sauce. I mistook the vat of strawberry jelly for cranberry sauce.

                                                                                        Now this buffet was not going well anyway because it was so ineptly thought out. Finally I asked one of the servers. He said ... "Cranberry sauce ... what is that? I'll ask in the kitchen". They finally drag out a vat of cranberry sauce that I swear they must have made from dried cranberries.

                                                                                        I still harbor resentment about that restaurant and speak badly about it when anyone considers going. Fifty dollars for that crummy buffet. OH yeah ... no mashed potatoes. My long ago rant
                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/32772

                                                                                      2. I'm in the "yes" camp for the jellied stuff, but my mother would have been horrified if I'd ever brought it to the table as the solid, yet quivering, mass others have described. We always put it in a bowl, and mashed it with a fork before serving. (Of course, my mom was also a stickler for keeping commercial labels off the dining room table, so ketchup, mustard, etc. had to be spooned into small bowls as well; if we were eating in the kitchen, different rules applied.)

                                                                                        My grandmother made her own cranberry relish from scratch, with oranges and spices, which I found way too tart as a child, and slowly began to appreciate as I grew older. But I still like the jelly, especially on sandwiches!

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: KevinB

                                                                                          i felt sad, somehow, with the description of "mashed" cran jelly. that jelly chunk is part of the fun, imo.

                                                                                          1. re: KevinB

                                                                                            KevinB - any chance your mother was from the south? We had a large bay window in the dining room on the front of our house...NO WAY was my mother going to have anyone drive/walk by and see bottles on the table while we were eating...she's never gotten over seeing the ketchup bottle on Hearst's dining room table at San Simeon...it was her most vivid memory of the whole tour! By the way, as the only daughter (therefore, the dish rinsing/put in dishwasher job was mine),I HATED the extra work of those little bowls!

                                                                                            1. re: lindsley

                                                                                              Nope - Mom's a Canadian, and her parents were both from England. She drilled table etiquette into us from the time we graduated from baby food. I'm still appalled on occasion by the manner in which my dining companions handle their cutlery, but that's a topic for another thread!

                                                                                          2. Rant: What is WRONG with people that don't understand why other people like the foods that they do?

                                                                                            Answer: I don't know, or care. Please, please, stop asking us why, just accept that people love all kinds of food, not just the ones YOU like, and let us eat what we want in peace.

                                                                                            There, I feel better now. :)

                                                                                            Edit: For the record, I've made my own, and it's a toss-up which is better. I eat the canned stuff (whole berry) all year long, I love it with roast chicken, or simply broiled pork. yummy......

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: rednails

                                                                                              >>let us eat what we want in peace.

                                                                                              But then there would be no more posts here.

                                                                                              1. re: dolores

                                                                                                yep, dolores, probably true. ;-(

                                                                                                1. re: dolores

                                                                                                  Or the posts would be about food that people like to eat instead of why people who like to eat something different are so wrong.

                                                                                              2. Count me in on the love it crew. I make whole berry sauce from fresh berries with a bit of brandy and some orange zest, but I have to have my Ocean Spray as well. The smoothness works perfectly in my t-day leftover sandwich with the turkey and dressing and potato bread (has to be potato bread).

                                                                                                Nothing wrong with it at all.

                                                                                                Now, if someone were serving a canned ham for T-day, I'd say you had a point ;>

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                  i've tried maier's, stroehmann's, and martin's (here in dc area) potato bread products. martin's is definitely the best in taste, texture and quality control. essential for my e. carolina bbq pork fix! martin's #1, maier's #2.

                                                                                                2. We always had the canned stuff when I was growing up, so once I started making my own Thanksgiving dinners I started experimenting with different fresh cranberry recipes every year, and amazingly, after 30 years I have only repeated a few. HOWEVER...every year I buy a few cans of the gelatinous stuff to use on sandwiches and in different dishes throughout the winter to brighten them up. I blame it on nostalgia, and I DO get giggle from the "birthing experiance" as the stuffl eaves the can and hits the plate, as Sam F so brilliantly descibes above.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: dragonchowmein

                                                                                                    ..."birthing experience"...LOL - how appropriate! And, I agree, dalaimama, it may be the only acceptable can on T'giving Day!

                                                                                                  2. I dont understand it either. I think it is positively vile and I am always immensely let down when I go to someone elses for Tday and that's all they have.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Chefsquire

                                                                                                      I ask totally sincerely: what's vile about it for you?

                                                                                                    2. You are ranting against liminal associations from childhood. On the ur-ritual day of American eating, that is spitting in a gale force wind....

                                                                                                      1. So now were left with all that unused jellied sauce.

                                                                                                        I can think of two things that I have used it for in the past:

                                                                                                        1) A chocolate "Pate" with a cranberry coulis
                                                                                                        2) Mixed 3 TBS of the stuff with one TBS Balsamic Vinegar and 1/4 tsp minced garlic to brush on chicken breasts

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                                                          You can use it to make cocktail meatballs or sausages--heat it with chili sauce (kind of like the grape jelly/chili sauce concept) and drag out the fondue pot to keep it warm. Actually pretty tasty!

                                                                                                        2. There's nothing better on a leftover Thanksgiving sandwich - turkey, stuffing, jellied cranberry from the can, and mayo on white bread. The stuff with berries in it is too messy.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                            Try subbing in some cheese for the mayo and grill the works in a panini press. :)

                                                                                                            1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                              maplesuger, you just inspired my new "turkey sandwich, wrap or roll" thread! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/574054 thanks, great idea!

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                awww you're makin' me *blush* :) Glad I could provide some inspiration, I get a whole lot of inspiration from all of you all the time.

                                                                                                            2. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                              no way! the leftover thanksgiving sandwich, which we refer to as "the gobbler" in my family, is made like this: one large soft brioche roll (poppy seeds optional), sliced horizontally in half; a layer of cool cranberry jelly placed on the bottom half of the roll, followed by a layer of warm turkey breast; scoop some warm stuffing on top of the turkey; drizzle generously with piping hot gravy; cover with top half of roll and dig in :)

                                                                                                            3. Cranberries are a difficult dish to make well because they're so sour naturally. Ocean spray has been developing their recipes for a long time so that they're smooth and well-balanced with sweetness to suit the majority of customer's tastes. There are some things that individuals can't make as well homemade (at least not easily) as store bought. I'm guessing cranberry sauce (which I've never liked in any form) is one of those things.

                                                                                                              I don't see why it matters what other people eat or prefer. There are a lot more important things to educate people about than whether they eat cranberry sauce which is from a can or not.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Orchid64

                                                                                                                Actually, cranberry sauce is extremely easy to make and a very good recipe is generally printed right on the bag of berries. You just can't go wrong. And there's no HFCS.

                                                                                                                As for this thread, it is not intended to be educational. We are relating our stories. Just for fun. Which reminds me, I do have a few other things to do!

                                                                                                                1. re: Orchid64

                                                                                                                  That is absolutely the best answer. It is the balance that works ... and I agree with the experience Ocean Spray has. It is one of the few items that really hasn't been ruined by HFCS ... taste-wise ... they balanced the sweetness with the tang just right.

                                                                                                                2. My mother used to make it from fresh cranberries, every year. It was made in a big pot, and to cool it, she put the pot outside in the snow. Covered, of course.
                                                                                                                  But, my mother-in-law likes the canned version, will eat nothing but. I did make it for someone a few years ago, strained of the skins, etc. It vanished, instantly. It was made the same way as my mother, only strained.

                                                                                                                  1. ok, for those of us who have fond memories of it, i just made an amazing discovery. i haven't had the Ocean Spray stuff in years because of the HFCS, so maybe my taste buds are playing tricks on me, or perhaps i'm subconsciously longing to recreate that childhood memory thanks to this thread...but i just tried Trader Joe's new Cranberry Apple Butter, and i *swear* it tastes exactly like the Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce i remember from my childhood! the consistency is pretty close too. obviously it's not as solid/jelled, and since it's in a glass jar you don't have those lovely slicing guides or the "SCCHHGGGLLLOOOOPPPP" sound - although you do get the satisfying "pop!" when you break the vacuum seal ;)...but it's surprisingly thick & smooth. perfect for spreading on leftover turkey!

                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                      >>> i haven't had the Ocean Spray stuff in years because of the HFCS, so maybe my taste buds are playing tricks on me

                                                                                                                      Your taste buds are playing tricks on you. I bought a jar. I'm up for anything that might taste like OS with no HFCS.

                                                                                                                      I can see though, how if you haven't had OS for years, where you might think this would taste like it. The first initial tase made me think ... Ocean Spray ... but by time I swallowed it, not so much.

                                                                                                                      I don't know how to describe it but it has that organic cranberry sauce taste. That makes no sense I know, but they just taste ... different.

                                                                                                                      The consistancy is way off. You would have to spoon this over turkey like a sauce. It is thinner than applesauce and liquid. That turned out for me to be a problem in a sandwich.

                                                                                                                      I like thick slices of OS on my turkey sandwich. This is too thin and gets lost in the sandwich.

                                                                                                                      However, it started me thinking that maybe OS tastes a little like applesauce. Maybe that's why so many people and especially kids like it. Yes it is more tart and tangy ... but maybe there's something about OS that is apple-like.

                                                                                                                      1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                        "It is thinner than applesauce and liquid"
                                                                                                                        ~~~~~~
                                                                                                                        did you refrigerate it? mine is pretty thick. definitely more so than applesauce!

                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                          Looked at it this morning and it is thicker, but no more so than a medium-thick apple butter which is what it is. Tried it on toast for breakfast and, for me, it is even a little thin as a spread, which is true of many fruit butters . I'll probably mix it into yogurt. It might make a nice topping for a holiday French toast.

                                                                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                            sorry if i steered you wrong...i guess after so many years i don't really remember the OS product so accurately! oops :)

                                                                                                                            i'm glad you'll find other uses for it - i always stir these things into yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal, but
                                                                                                                            i like your idea of using it as a French toast topping.

                                                                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                              No problem. I wish it had worked out.

                                                                                                                              I wish Ocean Spray would just put out an organic version of the cranberry sauce that uses sugar instead of HFCS. From my New England years, IIRC, there are lots of sprays used to control bugs and diseases.

                                                                                                                              This from an organic cranberry grower ...
                                                                                                                              http://www.equalexchange.coop/sandhil...

                                                                                                                              "Before, after we sprayed the bog, you didn't hear a sound for two weeks. You knew you'd killed something." Now the bog is full of sound. "There are beneficial insects, and that means the frogs have something to eat. They're everywhere. You can see the difference."

                                                                                                                              But the impact of organic can also be personal. "It's simply amazing," says Dan. "I can farm without a space suit on. I can walk off the bog and hug my kids without taking my suit of and spraying myself down. I used to have to say to my kids, 'Don't touch me, I'm poisonous right now.' But now I don't have to say that and I can’t tell you how good that feels."

                                                                                                                              Could be those pesticides are giving OS that certain something in taste.

                                                                                                                              1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                "Could be those pesticides are giving OS that certain something in taste."
                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                *shudder*

                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                  *shudder* here too. Wriggly jiggly OS was a staple on the table growing up and for the first few years after I left home I bought it for the sake of nostalgia. Now I make my own cranberry sauce and I'll never do canned again... particularly after reading the excerpts from the cranberry farmer.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                    Are you using organic cranberries when you make your own? Cuz otherwise they are grown in the same manner as those in the can.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                      Whoops yes, absolutely organic. DH thinks I'm crazy...but he's coming around - slowly.

                                                                                                                    2. I have asked myself a similar question, though I'm not nearly as firmly planted in one camp as you seem to be! What I wondered was, why won't people even try the fresh, homemade version? I have tried a couple of times to tempt my family with a homemade cranberry relish, and perhaps two or three out of 15 or so people actually tasted it.
                                                                                                                      The fact is, I like the jellied one, too. And as much as I prefer eating homemade food instead of canned whenever possible, there is just something irreplaceable about the Ocean Spray stuff, and I can't imagine Thanksgiving without it. It tastes like it did in my childhood, it layers easily on a sandwich, and the texture is inimitable. It's also one of the very few processed foods that I still eat today and detect no difference in. All in all, it's not bad stuff, and I can understand those who refuse to go without it. I suggest you do what many of us seem to do: put both on the table.

                                                                                                                      1. think of it as an entity unique to itself. don't confuse it with the real thing and just know that some people like.

                                                                                                                        1. I am the only one in my family that eats it. I love it and I am not ashamed to admit it.
                                                                                                                          Next day sandwich of turkey, dressing and the gelatinus canned creation spread on the bread. Great! (Have eaten it since I was a kid.) My grandmother always had it on the table at Thanksgiving. So there may be something to the tradition / sentimental theory.
                                                                                                                          Have a great Holiday season!

                                                                                                                          1. Gosh, people are scary here! Some of these replies are fierce. I never had the canned kind for Thanksgiving growing up, but I did see it as leftovers at my friends/relatives homes.

                                                                                                                            My husband wanted it one year, so I bought it. When I served it, I mashed it up in the relish dish, and he went balistic. We're divorced.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: joyfulwrites

                                                                                                                              "When I served it, I mashed it up in the relish dish, and he went balistic. We're divorced."
                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                              i'm sorry your marriage didn't work out - i don't like to laugh at other people's pain - but that line is freaking hilarious.

                                                                                                                              it was always my *job* to slice it, and i took the responsibility very seriously :) [early indication of my OCD - i couldn't eat it if it wasn't cut & plated "just so."] my younger sister would, of course, inevitably get to the dish & mess up some of my perfect slices just to piss me off, so my mom wised up & started buying an extra can or two. she would serve my sister the pieces she had screwed with, and i would slice the rest of it into the serving dish for everyone else.

                                                                                                                            2. Just curious: what's the real difference between cooking down cranberries with some sweetening, straining and allowing to gel, versus cooking down veal bones with some veg and seasonings, straining and allowing to gel? One (cranberry jelly) is a villified foodstuff for the masses, while another (demi-glace) is an expensive and revered Escoffier standard?

                                                                                                                              Maybe I'll spend some of the hard-earned dollars on demi-glace if it can make the "sound" when coming out of the container that Sam F. described.

                                                                                                                              For now, it's Ocean Spray jellied for T-day. Oh, and I also have 20 pounds of local whole cranberries in the freezer for all the other many and varied cranberry sauces I will be making throughout the year. We're not total heathens. <grin>

                                                                                                                              It's all good.

                                                                                                                              Cay

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                It's tradition. I do not want to incur the wrath of an angry mob that expects canned OS-that knows precisely how many slices each can yields, that can not take one small bite of anything unless there is a slab o' the stuff wiggling away in a corner of their over-plated plate.

                                                                                                                                (plus just one bite and I'm a little kid again, with no mortgage, no global economic crisis looming around the corner and no silly highfalutin pretense that it's only 'good' if it's made fresh from scratch. But then, I don't have that pretense as a grown up either!)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                                                  BD - I guess I was unclear - I am very, very, very PRO the OS canned! Love it for the T-day (truly, nothing else suffices). I just don't understand why it's so picked upon, hence my previous post vis a vis demi-glace. Canned cranberry jelly's an innocuous (and delicious) product that many like, but some resent. I find that resentment curious.

                                                                                                                                  Enjoy Thursday and that kid-again feeling with the OS!

                                                                                                                                  Cheers,

                                                                                                                                  Cay

                                                                                                                              2. Even living in the Cranberry belt of South Eastern Massachusetts- the home of Ocean Spray- and many other independent bogs-, you'll find people prefer the canned stuff 10:1 over homemade. What you grow up with is what you prefer; it's what brings back memories, which is what the holidays are about. Since most kids can't tolerate the tartness of the fresh stuff, memories were not created by the chunky sauce with oranges in it. We all remember the sweetness of the canned version with it's indented lines and glistening in all its glory.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                                                                                                                                  Ode to Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce
                                                                                                                                  <to the tune of winter wonderland>

                                                                                                                                  red and ribbed, are ya' listenin'?
                                                                                                                                  some to eat, i've a nigglin'
                                                                                                                                  so lend me a hand
                                                                                                                                  and open a can
                                                                                                                                  eatin' in the cranberry wigglin'-land!
                                                                                                                                  ___________

                                                                                                                                  happy thanksgiving to eaters of cran, canned and fresh alike. and to all a good leftover sandwich night.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    alkapal, you are da bomb! LOL That should be their next commercial! ;-) (And I made cran-orange relish for my Mom to bring tomorrow to my stepbrother's dinner, but I wouldn't be surprised to find the canned on the table either!)

                                                                                                                                2. Try this: equal parts ocean spray can cran and hellmans, wisk, spread on sandwich. hooray! Even if you are in the no-can-cran-camp, this spread is pretty yummy especially on a sandwich. Try it!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                                                    Add some horseradish to that mix, and it'll give a nice punch to a spread for a roast beef or turkey sandwich!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                                                      I can't wait to try this spread, cassoulady.

                                                                                                                                      I finally got the can open and enjoyed every bite. Thank you danna for giving all this free PR to a really good product.

                                                                                                                                    2. lol, this is one of my very guilty pleasures... I also heartily enjoy the canned form. Please don't tell anyone! :P~

                                                                                                                                      1. My mom was just complaining about her mother's enthusiasm for the stuff. I don't ever remember seeing any real cranberries around, so she must have bought the the gloopy stuff. No one else in the family touched it.

                                                                                                                                        1. These "canned" people are obviously flawed and they don't even realize it. Just let them suffer in their ignorance.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: stricken

                                                                                                                                            I'm in the homemade cranberry sauce camp. I grew up with the OS canned stuff, but in recent years have made a homemade version, usually a twist of the recipe on the OS fresh cranberries bag, adding OJ and more sugar. This year I added some Grand Marnier - yummy. It just tastes so much fresher and brighter to me.

                                                                                                                                            I still had to have a couple of cans available for my family members who still only eat the jellied stuff. But I think I converted my mom this year...she said she liked my Grand Marnier cranberry sauce better than the canned!

                                                                                                                                          2. I was told to bring a can of cranberry sauce to my daughters house for Thanksgiving. I asked which kind - the whole berries or the one that has the can shape? She said the can shape. I thought that was odd, since I know she has NEVER eaten cranberry sauce, but I bought a can. So her husband opens the can and slides it on a plate. I offer to slice it up, and he looks baffled. No, we serve it with a spoon he says. I'm like, a spoon? I'm a bit OCD like GHG and like the perfect slices. Whatever. Him and his dad just get spoon fulls of the stuff and plop on the plate. The highlight of the meal was when my granddaughter got her first taste of it and loved it. (what's not appealing to a child - fruit and sugar) Made her daddy so proud! Good times! LOL!

                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: danhole

                                                                                                                                              "I'm a bit OCD like GHG and like the perfect slices."
                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~
                                                                                                                                              lol! yeah, i think i might have a seizure if i witnessed someone plopping spoonfuls of it on the plate ;)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                Speaking of OCD ...

                                                                                                                                                I needed my turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce fix. I figured I'd try the OS and TJ's cranberry apple butter side by side to see how alike or different they tasted. The TJ stuff is a lot more assertively flavored with a medicinal edge.

                                                                                                                                                But ... you might find this amusing ... the bite of OS right after the TJ's ... good grief it was awful. It really brought out that sickly sweet HFCS taste that I hate about HFCS. It was like eating cotton candy or some awful sweet cheap frosting.

                                                                                                                                                OS on its own .. fine ... but side by side ... it brought out that flaw. I wish they would go back to sugar.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                  Have you tried the canned cranberry sauce they sell at Whole Foods?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Humbucker

                                                                                                                                                    Either last year or the year before that. I still haven't found an organic cranberry sauce I really like. Similar to the TJ cranberry butter they always seem to have this medician; aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                    can't say i'm surprised ;) i haven't [knowingly] eaten HFCS since i started actively avoiding it years ago, and most of the things i eat wouldn't contain it anyway - i imagine i'd notice - and hate - the taste immediately.

                                                                                                                                                    i have a feeling the "medicinal edge" is from the ascorbic acid in the TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                    GHG, it took every bit of my willpower not to cut off the uneven edge every single time they scooped more away from it. Torture, pure torture!

                                                                                                                                                2. My family never bought canned cranberry sauce. They also never made fresh cranberry sauce. My mother and grandmother still don't buy or make it. I didn't try canned cranberry sauce until about 5 years ago when I went to my in-laws home for T-day. Now I really enjoy it, I feel like I missed out on something all those years.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I loved reading this thread. As I hoped, it gave me a good attitude toward the can-eaters
                                                                                                                                                    ;-)

                                                                                                                                                    Ironically, given my new-found peace w/ the can, my Mom made a smooth, jellied version of cranberry sauce this year. It was beautiful and such a bright, clear color next to the obligatory canned stuff on the relish tray. Post-meal inspection proved it was at least as popular as the stuff with lines. So there's hope after all! I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I think it has to do with tradition. My mother always has to have canned cranberry sauce on the table during holiday meals even though no one - even mom - ever touches it. I think she remembers it as a staple from her childhood and it gives her happiness just to have it sitting there.

                                                                                                                                                      1. (smile) Very funny post, I am new. I too am grossed out by the slide out of the can with lines and all. My Mom did it every yr, cut into the triangle's every year. So when I started my own, I did the same. Well with 2 picky eaters ok 3 incl'd hubby, every yr I was the only one who ate it.
                                                                                                                                                        This yr. I firgured let me try Ocean Spray the whole berries one, and try to l kick it up a notch?
                                                                                                                                                        I opened the can and was like WHAT.. It looked like the other, had to look at can again to make sure I did buy the whole berry one. I did used the knife slide it out and was very disapointed as it was just as gelantinous as the other but did have very small bits of berries and I took the spoon and smashed the can shape away. I put cinnamon in it tasted it, said ok good enough.
                                                                                                                                                        Well yet again no one ate it, but me, I pleaded with my children look it has real berries and smell the cinnamon. No go. I said to hubby did you try it? His ans..Had no room left on my plate. (good ans) lol Well I agree next yr I will try one more time with this with REAL berries and if not eaten. It will be removed from my table for good. Done..

                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rae2

                                                                                                                                                          Everyone is clear that that horrible fake canned stuff is made from the same cranberries that most people buy in a bag, right? They didn't use fake fruit to make the canned cranberry sauce. It is, in fact, "real." It doesn't even have anything added to make it gel. That'd be the natural pectin from the cranberries themselves.

                                                                                                                                                          From Adam Ried of Cooks Illustrated over at Amazon.com:
                                                                                                                                                          "Tests of the various cooking times revealed that less is more. About five minutes over medium heat was all it took to achieve a supple, just-firm-enough set in the cooled sauce. Cranberries are high in pectin, a naturally occurring carbohydrate in many fruits. In the presence of sugar and acid (cranberries contain both), the large pectin molecules bond with each other to produce the characteristic jelled consistency. Since pectin molecules are released as the cells of the fruit break down during cooking, the longer the fruit cooks, the more pectin is released (and the more liquid is evaporated) and the stiffer the finished gel becomes. Cooking the sauce for 10 minutes, for instance, resulted in a gel you could slice with a knife."
                                                                                                                                                          http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/sylt...

                                                                                                                                                          Clearly, no one needs to like it and I'm not arguing that anyone should. Nor am I arguing that anyone needs to have it on their table. I'm also not arguing at all against making cranberry sauce or relish or what have you starting from fresh whole berries or frozen berries. All of those can be very good if they're very good.

                                                                                                                                                          But for goodness sake, could we please get over the idea that anything in a can is fake?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                            I made my own one year from a recipe that I saw in Oprah's magazine. Either they left out something, or I am a total klutz, but it was yucky! Back to the can for me! I only like a dab, and I wish they made a smaller can, but now that other people eat it, it doesn't get thrown away.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                              ccbweb

                                                                                                                                                              I guess the can it is, since I am the only one who eats it, why bother making fresh.lol
                                                                                                                                                              If I did and stuck it in a can you say it would look the same, I am really shocked, that there wasn't anything in it that made the jelli consistency.
                                                                                                                                                              I saw how alot wrote re" the HFCS and still had label here by the computer from looking on there site to see what new I could do with the whole berry one to get the kids to eat it. 4 Ingredients: Crandberries,hfcs,water and (again) Corn Syrup (high low???) lol
                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, back to can I go and eat it for 3 days all by myself.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rae2

                                                                                                                                                                Put the leftovers in the freezer. I have a delicious recipe for cranberry pork tenderloin that uses 1/2 cup whole-berry sauce and I always freeze the rest for the next time I make it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                                                                                                                                  My mom - who is a great cook - always made homemade cranberry relish - I hated it. So we always had the canned jelly ocean spray version as well. Now it's a big joke but every year I bring a can of the Ocean Spray. To this day - I still like the jelly version better. And nothing beats it on a turkey sandwich with stuffing and mayo!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: xcptnl

                                                                                                                                                                    Ohhhhh, NOW I see what all the fuss is about on the mayo and cranberry, canned of course, sauce mixture. On stuffing. Cold. From a spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                    Dangerous stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder what the Christmas equivalent is? This thread has been the best part of Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                                          2. I love cranberry sauce, canned, jellied, whole berry and grew up with it on the table.
                                                                                                                                                            Now, I have to worry about sugar and carbs. Make my own with splenda and orange peel. Excellent.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Have you considered the possibility that the fresh cranberry sauce they are snubbing just plain sucks i.e., not prepared well?

                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                Funny, but certainly could be the case :)

                                                                                                                                                                However, the thing is that homemade cranberry sauce is ridiculously easy to make. You literally dump water, whole cranberries (no need to process or mash) and sugar in a pot and cook it until it reduces down to a thick glaze. The whole process takes all of 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                However-- this is certainly not the "jelly" that comes out of the can, which is made with "cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water."

                                                                                                                                                                http://www.minimus.biz/detail.aspx?ID...

                                                                                                                                                                Depending on your opinion of high fructose corn syrup, you may or may not find a fundamental difference with corn sweetners and the sugar that takes its place in homemade cranberry sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                You know, it's been so long since I've had cranberry sauce from a can that I'm tempted to splurge on one just so that I can do a side by side comparison with my own sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                  mr t. that "sauce" you link is... same ingredients as the canned (but def. not the same "vibe"). oh well, they do have hfcs. but what is so bad about hfcs?

                                                                                                                                                                  btw, cran lovers (and i am one -- for cran in all forms), this recipe struck my fancy: cranberry brie wontons http://www.gjradio2.com/dixie/pdfs/ho...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                    Sadly, Ocean Spray from the can does contain HFCS now, but it hasn't always.

                                                                                                                                                                    That said, the can-haters have been around longer than the HFCS, so the "it's just not natural" argument just doesn't hold water in my opinion :)

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm an all around cran lover, jellied, whole berry, canned or homemade, dried, fresh in bread or cookies... it's all good as far as I'm concerned!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                      mpjmph, you know, i was just coming back to this thread to edit my post above. i thought, "what's so bad about hfcs?" then, i thought, why not post a query, or search for an old thread. voila: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/515456 -- it is another sugar. i'm down with that - esp. if i can have products that TASTE good.

                                                                                                                                                                      so...there is no big deal for me about hfcs. when's lunch? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                        I go back and forth about HFCS as a health concern. Part of me thinks it's just another sugar, what's the big deal (that would be the part that minored in chemistry but nearly flunked biology) but then another voice says there are enough questions about how it's metabolized, why risk it (and that would be the part that went in the public health education...). The bottom line is that I still buy a few products made with HFCS, but usually have a pang of guilt when I do.

                                                                                                                                                                        The big issue I have with HFCS is that it is indicative of so many other problems with our agricultural system (and energy, environmental, economics...). Sometimes I feel like quitting corn completely, just to spite the subsidization system. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms, and not one I let get in the way of enjoying cranberry sauce twice a year.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                          HFCS is a mix of fructose and glucose simple sugars. In another thread we are talking about recipes for invert sugar syrup. Boiling sugar syrup with an acid splits some of the sucrose molecules into fructose and glucose - that is, something similar to HFCS. Lyles Golden Syrup is perhaps the best known commercially produced example.

                                                                                                                                                                          Cranberries are quite acid. That leads me to suspect that good portion of the sugar in a home made cranberry sauce has been split. Probably even more was split in the making of the original OS canned stuff. If that is the case, then whether the canned OS is made with sugar or HFCS is a moot point. The sugar composition will be similar.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                                                                  >>the fresh cranberry sauce they are snubbing just plain sucks i.e., not prepared well?

                                                                                                                                                                  Nope, you would be wrong. My mother made THE best homemade cranberry sauce, and canned cranberry sauce with mayo beats it by a mile.

                                                                                                                                                                  Bless Ocean Spray's heart.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                    While I'm still marvelling at how good Ocean Spray in a can tastes with mayo (jelly too, who knew?), I wonder if the Christmas ham dinner will include bottled or home made apple sauce? I think it was here that I read about not bothering to skin the apples for applesauce, and they were right.

                                                                                                                                                                    Funny, I don't do bottled apple sauce, but give me OS in a can every time.