While cranberries are native to North America, many people don't know that the plant grows wild in some parts of the Netherlands. As the story goes, in 1845 a vat of cranberries was found washed up on the beach of Terschelling, the West-Frisian island, after which the berry was grown there by the hardy islanders. The mystery fruit was officially identified as cranberries by botanist Franciscus Holkema in 1868.
Because cranberries thrive in this 'Wadden island' environment, some 48 ha (119 acres) of cranberry fields can be found on the island today. Cranberries are commonly known as veenbessen in the Netherlands, but on Terschelling some still call them Pieter-Sipkesheide, after the man who found that fateful vat of cranberries.
Cranberries are often simply used as a turkey sauce, but its tart flavor makes it a good partner for cheese. In this recipe, it offers a sweet-sour contrast to the rich flavor of deep-fried camembert. Easy to make and delicious to eat, deep-fried camembert with cranberry sauce is an excellent Christmas starter or appetizer.
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