The holidays are knocking at our door and thinking of turkey dinners with friends and family brings up seasonal flavors that linger in my memories. One was always the cranberry dressing. My mother loved it and forgot it nearly every year in her focus on the main parts of the meal. It was always a bit of a joke and now I remember with fondness how much that made me love cranberry even more. Nowadays there are so many ways that cranberry can be incorporated into the holiday menu and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you.
Cranberry CheeseI know, everything is about cheese with me (but not really!). Years ago, we decided to try a new cheese produced in Wisconsin. The cheese was from a third generation producer in Keil, Wisconsin that did a fantastic job with fruit flavors (and other non-flavored cheeses as well). Henning’s Cheese Company, with Kerry and Kay at the helm, worked with Whole Foods Market to refine the recipe and determine the appropriate aging. This seasonal cheese, free of added growth hormones, is beautiful to look at with all of the cranberries showing in the cheese and is also tasty. I love it melted on leftover turkey sandwiches, open-faced is the best. Let’s not forget the Wensleydale with Cranberries cheese either. This cheese from England is totally different in texture and flavor from the cheddar. The Wensleydale is like eating a cranberry cheesecake. Try it for dessert! Here are a few other cool products that I should mention as I am journeying down cranberry road: Cranberry Chutney I love these chutneys and there are some great producers out there. One of my favorites is from the New England Cranberry. Big chunks of cranberries with a clean, bright and tangy flavor are sure to please. Whether on sandwiches or used in a reduction sauce on pork tenderloin, these will keep everyone coming back for more. Cranberry Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps A tasty handmade cracker from our Canadian neighbors. This is no ordinary cracker! Nice plump cranberries that you can taste in every bite. These are so unique and will truly get you into the holiday spirit. Try for dessert with a dollop of mascarpone! Cranberry Beer Oh yes there is! From our friends at Sam Adams, this beer has been in production since 1990. I know there are many who do not like fruit beers but this is different. Using weissbier yeast during primary fermentation, this beer is distinctly cranberry in flavor and aroma. This selection is great to have at a holiday gathering to add a twist to the regular offerings. Harpoon makes a great cranberry beer also! Fresh Let’s not forget to add fresh cranberries to our shopping basket. I love the recipe on our website for Cranberry Sauce with Candied Ginger. Stuff this in holiday brie and you will be the hero at the next holiday feast! And here’s a whole slew of cranberry recipes, from holiday breads to relish and stuffing. How do you like your cranberries? Got a unique cranberry treat? I’d love to hear about it.