Side Note: If you didn't all ready know, we love partnering with other farmers and were so happy to meet Cheryl and Randale of Bennett Cranberry Co. A huge grateful thanks to them for taking time out of their very busy harvest schedule to give us a birds eye view of the harvest operation. Now, on with the show....
In May, we had visitors from South Carolina. One of the items on the bucket list of things to do was to take them to a cranberry bog. After several inquiries, we got a response from Bennett Cranberry Co. in Wisconsin Rapids....so off we went! During our conversation with Cheryl Bennett, I mentioned that I would love to work with them on a Cranberry chocolate. No problem! So, we said we would be back for a visit during harvest in the fall.
Fast forward to October and a phone call to Cheryl to see if we could get some fresh cranberries to make a seasonal chocolate. Off we went to the Bennett Cranberry Co again.
We arrived to the hustle and bustle of machinery sorting cranberries and were greeted by a smiling Cheryl and Randale Bennett (owners). I had requested five pounds of Cranberries for chocolate making ahead of time. Randale had just come back from the bogs and brought box of TWENTY FIVE pounds of cranberries!
Randale gave us a quick overview of the the berries he had picked for us. He cut one in half and we tasted it's fresh, tart flesh. Yum! The taste is different fresh off the plant compared to the ones you buy in the store.
On to the bogs. Cheryl took us out to the bogs where they were harvesting. It's hard to believe the machinery invented all to pick these little treasures. I will let the pictures speak for themselves:
With all excitement of the trip to Bennett Cranberry Co. it was time to make a chocolate that would compliment it's tart nature. My thoughts wandered to childhood memories of my mother's fruity oatmeal crumbles. It took a couple of rounds of testing but the end product is one to be proud of. The tart center is contrasted with an oatmeal crumble topping. Just enough to give you the texture of those old time oatmeal crumble bars. Enjoy the CranBennett!