Surprise! Americans Kind of Hate Cranberry Sauce

NWphotoguy/iStock via Getty Images
NWphotoguy/iStock via Getty Images

Cranberry sauce is listed pretty close to the top of many “quintessential Thanksgiving foods” lists, right up there with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. But do Americans actually like to eat the sweet, sticky jelly? According to two different surveys, not really.

The Takeout reports that Instacart, with the help of The Harris Poll, asked 2000 adults a series of questions about their Thanksgiving habits and opinions, and found that 46 percent of participants think canned cranberry sauce is “disgusting.” Still, that doesn’t seem to stop them from buying it—last Thanksgiving, Instacart sold 50 percent more canned cranberry sauce than fresh cranberries.

The “ew” factor doesn’t seem to deter everyone from serving it up sliced, either: 31 percent of people surveyed don’t mash up their canned cranberry sauce before giving it to their hungry guests.

In WalletHub’s study, based on Twitter data, only 3 percent of participants named cranberry sauce as their favorite Thanksgiving dish, compared to a whopping 39 percent of people who think turkey trumps all, and 23 percent who prefer to stuff themselves with stuffing. While this doesn’t necessarily prove that anybody hates cranberry sauce, it does imply that very few people consider it the crowning jewel of the meal.

So if people don’t seem to like cranberry sauce, especially the canned variety, why have it at all? Instacart’s results suggest that the polarizing side dish has remained a holiday staple simply for tradition’s sake; 29 percent of participants responded that although they dislike cranberry sauce, they eat it anyway because of tradition.

And it’s true that cranberry sauce certainly has been an active member of the Thanksgiving party for some time now, though it didn’t exactly start out as a dense, sugary cylinder. Find out how it came to be—and why we might’ve started eating it on Thanksgiving in the first place—here.

[h/t The Takeout]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Fried Beer Exists—and We Have Texas to Thank (or Blame) for It

You can have your beer and eat it, too.
You can have your beer and eat it, too.
Kristy, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

For anyone who thinks beer can qualify as a meal, we have some non-scientific evidence to support your claim: it’s shaped like ravioli, it tastes like a soft pretzel, and it’s filled with warm, yeasty deliciousness.

It’s deep-fried beer.

The story behind this culinary triumph began more than 10 years ago at a bar in Texas, where Mark Zable and his wife were scanning another uninspired menu with the same few finger foods. Zable made an offhand comment about how the bar should offer fried beer, and the couple realized it wasn’t such a bad idea—especially for the state fair.

Zable, a corporate recruiter by day, was no stranger to fair fare. As he told NPR, his father had opened a Belgian waffle stand at Texas’s state fair in the 1960s, and Zable himself assumed control after about 30 years. He experimented with new items to enter into the Big Tex Choice Awards food competition—sweet jalapeño corn dog shrimp and chocolate-covered strawberry waffle balls were two of his innovations—but nothing had won him a prize … yet.

Though the concept of fried beer was wacky enough to show real promise, execution proved difficult. Dropping liquid into a deep-fryer is a good way to get splattered with boiling oil, and Zable spent more than two years trying to devise an edible vessel that could both contain the beer and protect the chef. Finally, his 4-year-old son inspired a new angle, and Zable landed on a flawless design. Though Zable’s been tight-lipped on the details of that recipe, the Toronto Star reports that it’s essentially soft pretzel dough pressed into a ravioli-like pocket, filled with Guinness, and plopped into the deep-fryer for 15 to 20 seconds.

“It tastes great,” Zable told NPR. “Tastes just like eating a pretzel with a beer.”

Actual deep-fried beer from the 2010 State Fair of Texas.David Berkowitz, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

At last, Zable’s ambitious creation was ready for its debut at Texas’s 2010 state fair. He faced some tough competition at the Big Tex Choice Awards—including fried frozen margaritas, fried lemonade, and fried club salad—but even the other edible beverages were no match for Zable’s savory fusion of beer and bread. He took home the award for “Most Creative,” while “Texas Fried Fritos Pie” clinched “Best Taste.” Together, they’re a match made in state fair heaven.

[h/t NPR]