Product Review: Traverse Bay Fruit Co. Dried Cranberries

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Not bad, and you can’t beat the Subscribe & Save price!

four out of five stars

I’ve been eating cranberries in some form or another for about seven years, ever since I suffered an especially excruciating UTI. (Cranberries really do the trick – I haven’t had a single infection in all this time!) I started with cranberry juice, which I found I had to choke down; then I turned to pills, only to discover that most brands contain either gelatin (pulverized animal bone) and/or carmine (a dye made of crushed insects) – no thanks!

Finally I decided to try dried cranberries. I enjoy a quarter cup or so in my morning bowl of oatmeal (delish!), along with the occasional extra “dose” in cookies (chocolate chip!) and granola (make your own, it’s super-cheap!). The dogs like ‘em, too – I usually give everyone a small treat in the morning which doubles my daily usage to a half a cup. In other words, I go through a ton of cranberries.

For a while, I was buying Ocean Spray* cranberries in bulk from a certain online bulk foods store. I loved them – soft and juicy, always fresh – but wasn’t so crazy about having to store twenty pounds of cranberries in the fridge or pantry. Then I noticed that Amazon sells four-pound boxes that, when you factor in the Subscribe & Save price as well as the free shipping, are roughly the same price per pound – so I decided to give them a try.

Overall, these cranberries are tasty enough – though not as incredible as Ocean Spray’s cranberries. They’re a little stickier, for one, and unless you want huge chunks of cranberries in whatever it is you’re eating, you need to pry them apart prior to use. They also aren’t quite as fresh and plump as the OS variety (Ocean Spray sets a high bar, but still).

Still, they’re a great value. To me, it’s a toss-up between taste and convenience. For the time being (and especially because of the season – I have enough extra food lying about without adding a giant box of cranberries to the mix!), I’m content to settle for the smaller boxes of Traverse Bay Fruit Co. But I might switch back to my preferred brand sometime in the future (most likely when placing an unrelated order; vegan gummy bears, anyone?).

* At least, I think they were Ocean Spray brand; though the store didn’t advertise them as such, they came packaged in an Ocean Spray box. Your guess is as good as mine!

Updated to add: Since writing this review, I’ve received two more shipments of cranberries. These have been drier, not nearly as sticky, and thus much easier to handle. They’re somewhat similar to the “Ocean Spray” cranberries, but not quite as flavorful. So I guess the lesson is that you can expect the quality to vary from month to month?

(This review is also posted on Amazon. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined.)

bran flakes with dried cranberries > bran flakes with raisins

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Suck it, Raisin Bran!

2012-06-06 - Bran Flakes with Cranberries - 0001

Show me someone who doesn’t love cranberries, and I’ll show you someone who’s never suffered the indignities of a urinary tract infection. You and cranberries become BFFs from that day forward.

Enjoying this bowl out on the patio, whilst watching some crappy ’90s tv on Netflix, ’cause that’s how I roll.