Sweet Dried Cranberries from Willows Cranberries

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Foodzie, Product Review
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

To learn more about this and other products from Willows Cranberries, please visit their website.

About Willows Cranberries:

Willows Cranberries grows premium quality cranberries and sells specialty cranberry gourmet food products. Willows brand cranberries are used in our own fresh fruit, trail mixes, syrups, sauces, vinaigrette, candies and more. We are always working on improvements of our crops and our specialty food line. We are proud to provide you with the finest quality fruit and products of the industry.

What I Think:

Until now, the only type of dried cranberry I’d ever tried are Craisins (which, if you happen to have any in your cupboard, this recall information may be of interest to you – fortunately the Craisins I have in my cupboard are not subject to recall).  I actually keep dried cranberries (Craisins) on hand all the time – they’re the new raisin.  Truth be told, I’ve never really been crazy about raisins, but, I love dried cranberries.

Since I do have some Craisins on hand, I thought it would be interesting if I were to compare the two … these Sweet Dried Cranberries from Willows Cranberries, and the Craisins.  Believe it or not, there are some significant differences between the two!

First of all, the color of the Willows Cranberries are very consistent.  Every single berry is deep ruby in color.  The Craisins are a bit lighter in color overall than the Willows Cranberries and the coloration is not as consistent with the Craisins.  The exterior of the Willows Cranberries is shiny, whereas the Craisins are a bit duller.  And as far as taste, the Willows Cranberries taste … better.  They are not as sweet as the Craisins, and they have a delicious fruity flavor to them that is sweet and tart, and they just taste … like properly ripened fruit. The Craisins have less of the ripe fruit flavor.  They taste as though they have more added sweetener to them (both dried fruits have been sweetened).

I guess what it boils down to is that Willows Cranberries are grown on a family owned farm, so when you buy Willows Cranberries, you can taste the difference between their cranberries and those grown commercially.

My Final Thoughts:

These make a great snack right out of the package and I always add a handful of dried cranberries to my oatmeal or farro porridge.  (I usually reconstitute them slightly first, by putting them in a bowl with a small amount of water, and microwaving them for a minute or two.)  So, I eat a fair amount of dried cranberries, and I almost always have some on hand.  Until now, I always purchased the Craisins, but, I may rethink that, and start ordering from Willows Cranberries, because they taste better!

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