As many people (don’t) know, Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada. Before you ask, yes, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving.
Today has been a strange day, but since my assigned mission was to make cranberry sauce, we decided to go to Fort Langley’s Cranberry Festival.
First off: Holy crap. No, really, what the heck? Apparently this is the 18th annual cranberry festival in Fort Langley, but I was not expecting there to be so many people. The place I call home is a small town, that has events similar to this, so I thought it’d be like a flea market at most… boy, was I wrong. There were SO many people! We even saw license plates from the Yukon! Driving down the road with still 15 minutes to go (driving, that is), there were cars parked all along the road. I was dreading the idea of walking for miles and miles just to get some stupid cranberries.
Luckily, Tophat is an excellent driver (and more patient than Mistress and me) and we snagged a spot right in town.
Cranberries, bloody cranberries. Did I mention how many people there were?
We walked around a bit because there were plenty of vendors. We got to see pastries and baked goods, honey and jams, and don’t forget the fudge! I got the most delicious piece of fudge I think I’ve ever eaten in my life. It’s dark chocolate raspberry, and normally I don’t like dark chocolate, but it was proper dark chocolate. Yeah, I’m a chocolate snob. But we got to try a bunch of interesting stuff. We even went into a hat store and tried on hats! I looked good in a weird orange fedora-esque hat… it was strange. Especially since I don’t prefer the colour orange.
Back to cranberries. Here’s some fun facts:
- Originally, cranberries were used for trade. Because a lot of First Nations people used cranberries (food, dyes, medicines, etc.), there was a time where it was more important than salmon!
- The cranberry is one of only three commercially-grown fruits that is native to North America.
- Of all the cranberries harvested in Canada each year, about 60% are grown for Ocean Spray, which is owned and operated in the USA. Because BC is a cooperative, 90% of our cranberries are shipped to the USA.
- Approximately 50% of BC’s crop is used to make sweetened dried cranberries, 40% is made into juice, 9% is sold frozen, and 1% is sold fresh.
For some reason, the thought of that freaks me out.
I was weary about buying Ocean Spray from a festival, but I didn’t realize that’s what was being grown in our fields. It’s a little upsetting, to be honest, but I feel slightly better knowing that they were locally grown (here’s to hoping Monsanto didn’t play a role, no?). We looked around a bit because there was a man taking them out of bags just to put in boxes to make it look like they were fresh, AND, he was over-charging. People tend to overcharge during times of holidays, but you have to be careful! We found a good deal, and they weren’t just unpacking bags.
It wasn’t the greatest experience ever, but we weren’t really going to do more than get cranberries.
There was free entertainment, deals all around, vendors with nifty items, and plenty of food. Perhaps we’ll go next year, and early too. There’s a lot to experience, just be prepared for a day full of walking… and I wasn’t in a position to walk a lot.
Also, people, LEARN SOME MANNERS! I’m blatantly wearing braces that you can see, not to mention my walking is off… hitting me in the spine is only going to make me either A. Drop to the ground, or B. Make me scream at you. And scream I did. If I were a violent person, I would’ve punched you all in the face.
Anyway, that aside, it was an interesting time. And if you’re looking for some deals (or just neat stuff), go! But be prepared for way too many people, and know your pricing.
Now to go make cranberry sauce!