(Learn how cranberries are grown here, and see pictures here.)
The vendor explained why you never see cranberries in bulk: cranberry farmers have exclusive contracts with Ocean Spray, which prohibits them from selling cranberries to anyone else. This vendor had a friend who had some berries that weren't promised elsewhere so had offered to sell them at the market.
I bought 2 pounds of berries... and am still trying to figure out what to do with all of them. I'll probably freeze them for later use. Cranberries do freeze beautifully. I'm also floating the idea of trying to make a cranberry curd.
Ever seen a fresh cranberry up close? They're hollow, which is why they float and bounce.
Because I'm a scone junkie, here's a recipe I created to feature the fresh cranberries. The scones are light and airy. Take a bite and you'll get both sweet from the glaze and tart from the berries. Fresh cranberries are very different from dried ones. Hubbie has already asked me to make these for Christmas morning.
3 cups flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested and juiced (need 1/8 cup orange juice)
1 cup chopped cranberries (chop, then measure)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts