Lingonberry Vs Cranberry

Lingonberry Vs Cranberry — What’s The Difference?

More and more varieties of berries are becoming widely available around the world. Some of these berries may be completely new to you. But there are times when you won’t even be able to tell them apart. So, tell me, how do lingonberries differ from cranberries? The nutritional profile of lingonberries and cranberries is very similar. Lingonberries, on the other hand, are sweeter and less tart and bitter than cranberries, and they are smaller. There are some regions in the Northern Hemisphere where both can be found, but it’s not everywhere.

This extensive article compares and contrasts two well-known red berries and highlights the key distinctions between them. We’re going to learn about the varieties’ unique appearances, dietary profiles, cultivation requirements, culinary applications, and more!

What Are Lingonberries?

Despite IKEA’s efforts, lingonberries are not very well known around the world. They are much less common than cranberries (in any form). So it only makes sense that fewer people are aware of what they are and frequently mistake them for cranberries! The Scandinavian nations like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are where you can find these berries the most frequently.

On continents like North America, Asia, and Northern Europe, they can also be found all over the Northern Hemisphere. However, they are significantly less frequent in these places. There are roughly 25 English names for lingonberries, including “cowberries,” “foxberry,” and “mountain cranberries.” Where you are determines the name.

They belong to the Ericaceae family and have the scientific name Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Although they are frequently encountered in the wild, the berries you find in stores are probably grown because they are so uncommon.

Physical Looks

These berries are bright red and measure approximately 0.2-0.4 inches in diameter (6–10 millimeters). If you harvest the berries in the wild, you’ll have to look at the bush to figure out what they are. These berries are found on low-growing shrubs. The leaves are green and slightly curved. They also have white and light pink bell-shaped flowers.

Flavor, Texture, And Aroma

Lingonberries have a slight sweetness with a tart undertone; some people even call them mildly sour. They have strong berry flavors that you can easily identify and are undoubtedly very fruity. Although you can eat these berries raw, most people prefer to cook with them because of how sour they taste.


This berry has numerous nutritional benefits! Lingonberries have a high antioxidant content. They contain minerals and vitamins such as C and E, as well as manganese. They may benefit gut health, blood sugar levels, cardiovascular health, eye health, brain health, kidney health, and oral health.

These red berries are also almost fat-free, have very little protein, about 13% carbohydrates, and (as previously stated) a plethora of other nutrients. They are quite impressive and nutritionally dense. If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend including some of these berries in your diet!

Where They Are Found

As we have already mentioned, the Northern Hemisphere is where these berries are most commonly found. Scandinavian nations, particularly Sweden, offer the best chances of locating them. You can try looking for them elsewhere in the world, but you might not have any luck. Dried lingonberries aren’t even available in some places! Additionally, you can try searching for them using one of the many alternative names listed on Wikipedia.

Traditional Dishes

Swedish Köttbullar, meatballs served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, are a well-known and popular traditional dish made with lingonberries. Pairings with chicken and fish are a hit when using this jam. In Alaska, these berries are commonly used to make jam and juice. The Inupiat people eat these berries whipped up with a side of frozen fish eggs.

Lingonberry water, a popular soft drink, is produced in Russia. These berries can be used in numerous additional recipes. They can be found anywhere and prepared in a variety of ways.

What Are Cranberries?

Even though it might not be widely accessible in all areas and nations, everyone is aware of what a cranberry is. Fortunately, despite there being two main species that are cultivated and harvested, these don’t really have alternate names. North America, Canada, and Northern Europe are all home to these berries.

The Oxycoccos sub-genus is widely distributed in Northern Europe (Russia and other Nordic nations). The Macrocarpon sub-genus is more prevalent in North America and Canada.

Although they are more common to cultivate, these red berries are frequently harvested from the wild. In the majority of the world, dried cranberries are widely available. However, it might be difficult to find fresh cranberries.

Physical Looks

Cranberries and lingonberries have a similar bright red color, which is probably why people confuse these two berries. They are, however, much larger. Cranberries have a diameter of 0.4-0.6 inches (9–14 millimeters). If you’re picking cranberries in the wild, look for a creeping vine or a dwarf evergreen shrub. They have small green leaves and dark pink flowers as well. They are commonly grown commercially in bogs.

Flavor, Texture, And Aroma

Cranberries have a low sugar content and are mostly tart and bitter; few people eat them raw. It’s also the reason they’re not available fresh in most parts of the world; there’s simply not enough demand for them. Although they have berry and floral undertones, the bitter flavor overpowers everything.


Like lingonberries, cranberries are equally nourishing and nutrient-dense. They have few calories, no fat, few carbohydrates, and few protein. They contain a lot of vitamin C and manganese in terms of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, they are a good source of the vitamins A, E, and K. Copper and potassium are two minerals with quite high concentrations. In addition to protecting your liver from illnesses, maintaining and enhancing eye health, and lowering blood pressure, cranberries can also help your overall heart health.

Where They Are Found

Cranberries are widely available in the United States, Canada, and Northern European countries in fresh, dried, and powdered forms. They are mostly available frozen or dried in other parts of the world, and depending on where you are, you can even find cranberry powder, which is popular in desserts, smoothies, and sauces.

Traditional Dishes

Few “traditional” dishes are made with cranberries because they are much more widely available. The Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce is the most well-known example. Cranberries are used in a few well-known cocktails as well. The Cosmopolitan cocktail, which uses cranberry juice, is the most well-known illustration.

Lingonberry Vs Cranberry — Differences And Similarities

There are a lot of similarities between these berries, but the more you look, the more you will see that there are also some significant differences. To begin with, both of these berries share a striking visual similarity in terms of color and form. The size difference between cranberries and lingonberries is striking. You can also identify wild berries by their plants if you go on a berry-picking expedition. Commercial bogs are used for the cultivation of creeping vines and small shrubs, which bear the cranberries. Larger, lower-growing shrubs are ideal for growing lingonberries.

Also, cranberries have dark pink flowers, while lingonberry bushes have bell-shaped, lighter pink or white blossoms. Cranberries have flavors that are typically described as tart, bitter, or even sour. Lingonberries are less bitter and sour than other berries. You can buy either of these berries fresh or dried. Lingonberry products are harder to come by than their cousin, the cranberry. There is a shortage of lingonberries.

Both are easy to gather in the wild or grow in a garden. Products that must be hunted or gathered by hand inevitably increase in price and scarcity. These two berries have a lot to offer in terms of nutrition. You can compare macro differences on nutrition websites if you like, but they appear to have very similar builds.

Both of these berries are common throughout the Northern Hemisphere, albeit in typically dissimilar environments. Finally, if you compare the culinary applications of these two berries across regions, you’ll find striking similarities.

Jams, sauces, juices, and dried versions of these berries are where they really shine. Because their bitter tastes are masked, these preparations are much more approachable and convenient to consume.

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