National Cranberry Relish Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

National Cranberry Relish Day is annually celebrated on November 22nd in the United States. This makes it a perfect precursor to celebrate this Thanksgiving delicacy! 

Cranberry relish deserves to be celebrated as today we cannot imagine a Thanksgiving meal without a dipping of traditional cranberry sauce and that’s how common this delicacy has become and it is specially associated with Thanksgiving! 

Everyone knows about the sweetness of cranberry sauce during Thanksgiving and thus to further promote and celebrate it we have National Cranberry Relish Day as this day is all about celebrating this unusual but tasty side dish in its creation and glory. 

Event National Cranberry Relish Day
Date November 22, 2022
Day Tuesday
Significance The day celebrates the delicious Cranberry relish
Observed by United States


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National Cranberry Relish Day History: 

Cranberry relish is a type of cranberry sauce and the recipe for cranberry sauce was first appeared in the 1796 edition of The Art of Cookery by Amelia Simmons, the first known cookbook authored by an American. Although the Pilgrims may have been aware of the wild cranberries growing in the Massachusetts Bay area, it is unlikely that cranberry sauce would have been among the dishes served at the First Thanksgiving meal. Cranberries are not mentioned by any primary sources for the First Thanksgiving meal. 

The only foods mentioned are “Indian corn”, wild turkey and waterfowl, and venison. The rest remains a matter of speculation among food historians. Although stuffings are not mentioned in primary sources, it was a common way to prepare birds for the table in the 17th century. According to a “Thanksgiving Primer” published by the Plimoth Plantation, cranberries may have been used in the stuffing recipes, but it is unlikely they would have been made into a sauce because sugar was very scarce at that time during the first Thanksgiving meal. Cranberry sauce was first offered to consumers in North America in 1912 in Hanson, Massachusetts.  

Originally it is believed that cranberry relish began in the early 1900’s in New England. However, the recipe didn’t come into full light until the early 1950’s. The Splendid Table, a radio program hosted through American Public Media, has helped originally broadcast the recipe to the world. The show has been around since the 1950’s, and its original host, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, helped bring in chefs from all over to share unique and delicious recipes to their audiences. 

One fall morning, Kasper invited NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg to share her take on holiday dishes in a quest to “make something tasty out of the ordinary.” In a back and forth about Thanksgiving side dishes, Stamberg shared her mother-in-law’s cranberry relish recipe. “Add a dollop of sour cream, and make sure you chop them radishes extra-fine,” she said, and the rest is history. That was the day the cranberry-loving community added another great recipe to their staples, and the US got the National Cranberry Relish Day.   


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National Cranberry Relish Day Significance: 

Cranberry sauce or cranberry jam is a sauce or relish made out of cranberries, commonly served as a condiment or a side dish with Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada. There is an important difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish and that is that cranberry relish is made from raw ingredients blended in a food processor (it’s more fresh and tart tasting) and cranberry sauce is cooked and often much sweeter than relish. 

What sets cranberry relish apart from cranberry sauce is that all the ingredients are raw. It’s also usually a little less sweet. In a basic recipe from Anthony Bourdain, cranberry relish is made by blending cranberries, a little bit of sugar, and orange peel for a zesty topping that can fix up dry slices of turkey. Various types of nuts are often thrown into the mix as well. Various parts of the country enjoy cranberry relish over the sweeter cooked stuff.

In general, cranberries hold a special place among the set of traditional sides served on Thanksgiving. The tart red berries only grow in five states which are Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington and yet various preparations are centered on the table across the country. For many homes, it’s not a question of if there will be a cranberry side, it’s what kind: cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, or jellied cranberry sauce plopped on a plate straight from the can. 

Cranberry relish is incredibly delicious and really nutritious, as it is a combination of cranberries, onions, and horseradish packs vitamins, antioxidants, and so much more. And that’s why today, Americans eat more than 400 million pounds of cranberries every year, according to Ocean Spray and about 20 percent of which is eaten around Thanksgiving only. It’s safe to say that what was once an ingredient limited to the north and northeast has become as American as pumpkin pie.  


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National Cranberry Relish Day Celebrations: 

What can serve as a better way to celebrate this day than by having a delicious treat of some delicious cranberry relish! So why not try your hands at making some and this will also give you a preparation before the actual Thanksgiving festival! So use this opportunity to try your hand at recipe of cranberry relish and if you are making then why not try recipe given by Stamberg for the day. 

The month of November is great for harvest, as top-tier fruits like apples, bananas, kiwi, and grapes become primed for picking. This National Cranberry Relish Day, pay a visit to a nearby orchard with your friends and family. And you can also use this opportunity to organize fruit picking session as well as this activity is actually very fun to perform so do try it!  

You can also use this day to make your own version of cranberry relish as well as a part of experiment. Like the original recipe calls for the addition of horseradish and onions, amd if you don’t like it much then no need to worry. You can replace them with your favorite flavors, ingredients and adjust it according to your taste. There are many recipes available for it also so do check them. 

Most Searched FAQs on National Cranberry Relish Day: 

1. When is National Cranberry Relish Day celebrated? 

National Cranberry Relish Day is annually celebrated on November 22nd in US. 

2. What is the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish? 

Cranberry sauce is a sweetened concentration of chopped cranberry, cooked and reduced through heat. In contrast, cranberry relish is an uncooked cranberry grind blended with horseradish, onion, and sour cream in a food processor. 

3. What is the easy recipe for making cranberry relish? 

To make an easy rendition of cranberry relish, you need cranberries, sugar, and an unpeeled orange. Just toss the cranberries and orange slices into a food processor and grind them till the ingredients are evenly minced. Pour the puree into a bowl and stir in the sugar.

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