Thanksgiving crunch

Act 1: Tim Pierce posted this photo of sugared cranberries on Facebook:


And some readers referred to these tasty, crunchy berries (which some find addictive) as “cranberry crack” or “cran crack”, alluding to crack cocaine and evoking CrackBerry as a mocking name for the BlackBerry smartphone.

In Act II, Aric Olnes introduced the Quaker Oats breakfast cereal Crunch Berries into the discussion.

With this image:


(In this version, the company is careful to tell us that the berries are imitation — this after a lawsuit turning on a complainant’s aggrieved astonishment that the “berries” weren’t real fruit, which the court didn’t credit, but still …).

From Wikipedia:

Cap’n Crunch is a product line of corn and oat breakfast cereals introduced in 1963 and manufactured by Quaker Oats Company, a division of PepsiCo since 2001. Cap’n Crunch was developed to recall a recipe with brown sugar and butter over rice, and the cereal required innovation of a special baking process as it was one of the first cereals to use an oil coating to deliver its flavoring.

… Cap’n Crunch’s original animated television commercials featured the slogan, “It’s got corn for crunch, oats for punch, and it stays crunchy, even in milk.”

The product line is heralded by a cartoon mascot named Cap’n Crunch. According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, the mascot, whose full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch, was born “on Crunch Island in the Sea of Milk – a magical place with talking trees, crazy creatures and a whole mountain (Mt. Crunchmore) made out of Cap’n Crunch cereal.” The mascot wears a “Napoleon-style” hat, leading to speculation that he may be French.

… [among the many variants of the original:] Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries cereal was introduced in 1967 and contained, in addition to the yellow pieces found in the original Cap’n Crunch, spherical red Crunch Berry pieces… The Crunch Berry Beast mascot [on the right in #2] was introduced alongside the cereal. There are currently four Crunch Berry colors: red, green (introduced in 2002), blue, and violet (both introduced in the ’90s). All the berry pieces [all are brightly colored cereal balls] are flavored the same, regardless of color.

Quaker Oats has a whole series of cereal lines that are basically sugar — well, corn syrup — bombs. See, for example, my 2013 posting on Quake and Quisp, quoting Wikipedia:

Description: Quisp is a baked paste of corn meal and syrup shaped like saucers. The taste is similar to fellow Quaker Oats cereal, Cap’n Crunch.

As for Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, my household has always provided its own crunchy stuff (not the homogenized achingly sweet cylinders from a can). From an on-line recipe that calls for sugar, water, and fresh cranberries, cooked until most of the berries have burst; plus optional additions: chopped pecans, orange zest, raisins or currants, blueberries, holiday spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice):

The recipe calls for a cup of water. You can easily substitute that with 1/2 cup of orange juice 1/2 cup of water if you want to increase the orange note in the sauce (cranberries and oranges play well together!)

You can also reduce the sugar if you want. Start out with half as much and add more if you think it needs it.

In passing:  the comments on the recipe have a nice example (boldfaced above) of “encroached substitute” — substitute OLD with/by NEW ‘replace OLD with/by NEW’. From a posting I made to ADS-L a few years ago:

Encroached substitute has been around since the 17th century, and as MWDEU notes, despite having been condemned by many commentators, it’s been appearing in standard writing on both sides of the Atlantic for a long time (and has been recognized as a standard variant in Merriam-Webster dictionaries since WNI2 in 1934).

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