The cranberry originates in northern America, like the potato and tobacco. Potatoes and tobacco have taken off widely and are cultivated in many countries, but the cranberry remains a typically northern American and Canadian speciality. Perhaps that is because the cranberry needs the cold, to an extent.
The cranberry does not deny its heritage – it is a heather species, which is why this fruit does best on acid, peaty soil with a sandy topsoil. Add to this a large amount of water and a cool (not too cold) climate, and the cranberry is in its element.
The original inhabitants of North America, the native tribes, knew and respected the cranberry. To them the berry was a symbol of peace. Eating the berry was thought to promote mutual harmony. The native tribes also attributed many health benefits to the berry. They were not alone in this – many people today still eat cranberries for their health.