The Commonwealth’s official state fruit has earned a new seat at the lush fall table of home cooks and foodies alike. “Best Berry: New England’s Cranberry Recipe Competition,” premieres at the 1st Annual “CranFest,” on Saturday, November 12, 1 pm at Plimoth Patuxet Museums’ Peabody Pavilion, 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth. “CranFest” is presented collaboratively by Massachusetts Cranberries and Plimoth Patuxet Museums.
No two-day celebration of the cranberry could be complete without showcasing recipes and delicious dishes from the region’s innovative cooks! “Best Berry: New England’s Cranberry Recipe Competition,” the centerpiece of “CranFest’s” Foodie Day, welcomes home cooks of all ages to delve into their creative kitchens and compete for winning titles and luxurious prizes, while overlooking Plimoth Patuxet’s picturesque grounds and Eel River. Enter a dish to compete, then explore “CranFest’s” lectures, culinary purveyors, food trucks and local spirits tastings while on site. Take in the sights of autumn and celebrate the harvest season!
The “Best Berry” competition features Emmy Award® winning network host, lifestyle expert, chef and food stylist Anna Rossi as emcee, offering an up-close glimpse of the competition’s inside scoop ‘talk show-style,’ alongside a host of local celebrity judges. The judging panel includes (to date) Maria Allen, editor-in-chief of South Shore Home Life & Style magazine, Michael Carr, owner, Plymouth Bay Winery, Kathy Goonan, owner, Log Cabin Bakers, Debra and Philippe Odier, owners, French Memories Bakery and Chef Johnny Sheehan, executive chef/partner at SALT Restaurant.
“Best Berry” welcomes all competitors. Applicants must register in advance at cranfestbestberrycompetition.eventbrite.com, the participation fee is $10. Registrants can compete in either sweet or savory dish categories. Competitors arrive at Peabody Pavilion for drop off at 12 noon the day of the competition, judging begins at 1 pm. Audience members are welcome to cheer their favorite competitor from their seats. The competition is limited to one entry per person, with recipes that include fresh or frozen cranberries as a key ingredient. Entries will be judged on their overall appearance, creativity, and flavor.
“CranFest,” is a two-day festive celebration of the cranberry, held on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12, 10 am to 4 pm. The festivities offer a “Family Day” and “Foodie Day” programming celebrating the cranberry’s enduring history as the Commonwealth’s official state fruit, and its role in the culture, livelihood, and culinary traditions of the region – something fun, festive, and seasonal for everyone! Live local music sets a festive mood throughout the event. Opportunities abound at the two-day festival with cranberry-centric programs, hands-on games, activities, local food trucks offering a variety of tasty fare, an open-air market showcasing local purveyor goods, history exhibits, lectures, Massachusetts Cranberries’ traveling bog, cranberry-centered documentaries in the Museums’ Plimoth Cinema, and more.
Participation in the “Best Berry” competition is $10; audience members can attend with a “CranFest” admission at $5 per person, children ages 5 and under attend for free. Tickets are available at plimoth.org/events/cranfest. Package rates are available to guests who also purchase admission to Plimoth Patuxet Museums on the day of the event. Free parking is available in lots on the property.
“CranFest” is made possible in part by media partner WATD 95.9 FM, with support from local sponsors, including the Town of Plymouth Promotions Fund, Cranberry Marketing Committee, See Plymouth, Bluewater Farms, Cape Cod Select, Decas Cranberry Products, Fresh Meadow Farms, Plymouth Bay Winery, Rotary Club of Plymouth, Tiny & Sons Auto Glass, Edible Southeastern Massachusetts and South Shore Home, Life & Style Magazine, in addition to other community support. To learn more about CranFest, sponsorship opportunities, vendor information and more, visit plimoth.org/events/cranfest.
For more information about Massachusetts cranberries and their health benefits, visit Massachusetts Cranberries at cranberries.org, or follow the Association on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. For more information about Plimoth Patuxet, visit plimoth.org, or follow the Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and Mayflower II on Facebook and Instagram.
About Massachusetts Cranberries
Massachusetts Cranberries and the more than 275 cranberry growers in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and Nantucket are represented by the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association (CCCGA). Established in 1888 to standardize the measure with which cranberries are sold, CCCGA is one of the country’s oldest farmers’ organizations. Today, this trade organization for Massachusetts Cranberries has given growers both a single voice and collective strength in promoting the cranberry industry.
Cranberries are the largest agricultural food commodity produced in Massachusetts, with an annual crop value of $64.9 million. Massachusetts is home to 30% of all North American cranberry acreage and according to the most recent Farm Credit East Knowledge Exchange Report, provides over 6,900 jobs and a total economic benefit of over $1.4 billion to the Massachusetts economy. For further information, call 508-866-7878, visit cranberries.org or follow the Association on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
About Plimoth Patuxet Museums
Through engaging experiences of history, Plimoth Patuxet tells the history of the Plymouth Colony and the region’s Indigenous people – in collaboration and in conflict – in the 1600s. Major exhibits include Mayflower II, the historic Patuxet Homesite, the 17th-Century English Village, and the Plimoth Grist Mill. The museum is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. A private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution, Plimoth Patuxet is supported by admission fees, donations, memberships, and revenue from a variety of educational programming, dining and gift shops. Plimoth Patuxet receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, private foundations, corporations, and local businesses. Located less than an hour’s drive south of Boston, and 15 minutes north of Cape Cod, the Museum is open daily from mid-April through the end of November. For more information, visit plimoth.org. Follow the Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and Mayflower II on Facebook and Instagram.