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Cranberry vs. Lingonberry: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 26, 2023
"Cranberry" refers to a tart, red berry used in sauces and juices, while "Lingonberry" is a smaller, sweeter European berry often made into jams.

Key Differences

"Cranberry," a berry known for its vibrant red color and tart flavor, is a popular ingredient in sauces, juices, and holiday dishes. On the other hand, "Lingonberry," native to the boreal forest and Arctic tundra, is smaller, juicier, and features a sweeter yet tangy taste, common in Northern European cuisine.
Cultivation of "Cranberries" typically occurs in acidic bogs throughout the northern United States and Canada, benefiting from the unique growing conditions in these areas. Conversely, "Lingonberries" thrive in cooler mountainous regions, reflecting their origin in the wild forests of Scandinavia and nearby areas.
Nutritional profiles of "Cranberries" and "Lingonberries" reveal both are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, though "Cranberries" are particularly known for their ability to prevent urinary tract infections. "Lingonberries," while sharing similar properties, have a higher content of certain vitamins and minerals, like vitamin E and magnesium.
"Cranberries" are widely consumed in a processed form, often as juice or sauce, particularly popular during American Thanksgiving. In contrast, "Lingonberries" are traditionally served as a jam or compote in their native regions, accompanying dishes like meatballs or pancakes.
While "Cranberries" are predominantly harvested in the fall, their "Lingonberry" counterparts bear fruit later in the summer. Both berries, however, have established themselves as staple ingredients in various cultural cuisines, appreciated for their unique flavors and health benefits.

Comparison Chart


Sweeter, tangy




Acidic bogs
Cooler, mountainous regions

Common Forms

Juices, sauces
Jams, compotes

Harvest Season

Late summer

Cranberry and Lingonberry Definitions


A tart, red berry often used in cooking.
The sauce was made with fresh Cranberries.


A small, red berry native to Europe.
Lingonberry jam is common in Swedish cuisine.


Known for health benefits, especially for UTIs.
She drank Cranberry juice for its health properties.


Thrives in cooler, northern climates.
Lingonberries are abundant in the Scandinavian forests.


Commonly consumed during Thanksgiving.
Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple.


Packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
Eating Lingonberries supports overall health.


Grows in wet, acidic environments.
Cranberries flourish in the bog's unique conditions.


Typically found in jams or preserves.
She spread Lingonberry preserve on her toast.


Can be consumed fresh, dried, or as a juice.
He snacked on dried Cranberries throughout the day.


Has a unique, tangy-sweet flavor.
The dessert's Lingonberry topping provided tangy sweetness.


A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpon) in the heath family, native to eastern North America and widely cultivated for its tart, red, edible berries.


A low creeping evergreen shrub (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), native to northern North America and Eurasia and having drooping clusters of small white or pinkish flowers.


The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.


The edible red berry of this plant, used to make sauces, jams, and preserves. In both senses also called cowberry, mountain cranberry.


Any of several other plants in the genus Vaccinium having red berries, especially V. oxycoccos.


A berry-bearing shrub, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, native to the cool temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere.


(countable) A shrub belonging to the section Vaccinium sect. Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium.


The berry of this shrub.


(countable) The edible red berry of that shrub.


Low evergreen shrub of high north temperate regions of Europe and Asia and America bearing red edible berries


An intense red colour, like that of a cranberry


Tart red berries similar to American cranberries but smaller


Of the intense red colour of a cranberry.


A red, acid berry, much used for making sauce, etc.; also, the plant producing it (several species of Vaccinum or Oxycoccus.) The high cranberry or cranberry tree is a species of Viburnum (Viburnum Opulus), and the other is sometimes called low cranberry or marsh cranberry to distinguish it.


Any of numerous shrubs of genus Vaccinium bearing cranberries


Very tart red berry used for sauce or juice


What are "Cranberries" good for health-wise?

They're renowned for preventing urinary tract infections and rich in antioxidants.

Are "Cranberries" keto-friendly?

In moderation, as they have natural sugars.

When are "Cranberries" in season?

They're harvested in the fall, typically in September and October.

What's the sugar content in "Cranberries"?

They're naturally low in sugar, which is why they taste tart.

Are "Lingonberries" sweet or sour?

They have a unique combination of sweetness and tartness.

How are "Cranberries" harvested?

They're often "wet" harvested by flooding cranberry bogs.

Can I find "Lingonberries" in the U.S.?

They're available in specialty or European stores, often as jams or preserves.

Can you eat raw "Cranberries"?

Yes, but they're very tart.

What's a common use for "Lingonberries" in cooking?

They're frequently made into jams and used as a condiment.

What dishes are "Cranberries" used in?

Sauces, juices, baked goods, and salads.

Are "Lingonberries" high in fiber?

Yes, they're a good source of dietary fiber.

Can "Cranberries" be frozen for later use?

Yes, they freeze very well.

Are "Cranberries" native to America?

Yes, they're indigenous to North America.

What's the nutritional profile of "Lingonberries"?

They're high in vitamins E and C, magnesium, and dietary fiber.

Where are "Lingonberries" most commonly found in the world?

They're common in the Nordic countries and parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Are "Lingonberries" and "Cranberries" similar in size?

No, "Lingonberries" are generally smaller.

Are "Lingonberries" rich in antioxidants?

Yes, they're known for their antioxidant content.

Do "Lingonberries" grow on trees or bushes?

They grow on low, evergreen shrubs.

How do "Lingonberries" taste compared to "Cranberries"?

"Lingonberries" are sweeter and less tart.

Do "Cranberries" need to be cooked before eating?

No, but cooking often enhances the flavor and sweetness.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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