In the U.S., today marks the national holiday of Thanksgiving. It is a day when thanks is offered to family, friends, associates and the Native American peoples who helped early settlers survey the cold of winter. Cranberries were considered a symbol of peace by the Native American Delaware Tribes. Native Americans also mixed deer meat with mashed cranberries to make a convenience food that could be kept for a long period of time. Due to the sharp sour taste, cranberries are typically juiced, dried or mashed with orange citrus and other possible sweeteners. This helps to balance the very bitter taste of the raw cranberry. Cranberries are rarely eaten raw. Unsweetened cranberry juice has long been used to help prevent urinary tract infections and stones from forming. Cranberries also have anti-asthmatic properties.
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