In the review I wrote of the now infamous Tui NZ Fruit Garden (which was guilty of both plagiarism and downright bad information), I mentioned cranberries and that what we know and grow as the NZ cranberry is in fact Myrtus ugni whereas the proper, genuine article is Vaccinium marcrocarpon. I noted that we were not aware of the proper cranberry being grown in this country and to my delight, a bag of the genuine article arrived from one of the very few commercial growers, Cranberries NZ, They grow them in cold valleys on the West Coast and harvests are still small so I don’t think they reach Taranaki supermarkets yet. These fruit were a bit of an eye-opener – larger than the myrtus berries and not at all nice raw, being a little sour, crisp and not particularly tasty in that state. But cooked in fresh cranberry muffins they took on a different character altogether and were voted a genuine taste treat, a great deal superior to dried fruit.
Ever the keen gardener, Mark could not resist saving a few seed. Most berries were pale inside but just a few were dark red right through. Given that proper cranberries need cold winters and do best in fairly heavy soils, we don’t have conditions that resemble their habitat in any way, but he will not let that deter him from trying to grow a few plants to add variety to our home orchard.
Read the original review of the Tui NZ Fruit Garden.