Debesmanna (Cranberry Mousse) From Latvia

Latvian Dessert

(Cranberry Mousse)


2¼ cups cranberry juice
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup cream of wheat, farina, or semolina
1 cup milk


electric beater.

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.


Add cranberry juice and sugar to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly. Gradually add cream of wheat. Stir constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir constantly with whisk or fork.

Transfer mixture to mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on high for 10 minutes or until mixture becomes fluffy and a lighter shade of red.. Serve in bowls. Pour milk equally over each bowl.


1) The term “manna from heaven” comes from the Old Testament. The book Exodus tells us how the Israelites fearing the wrath of the Egyptian pharaoh plunged deeper and deeper into the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula.

2) The Israelites grumbled that they were running out of food, that they were at least assured of getting full meals back in Egypt. They had apparently forgotten that they were enslaved back there.

3) So God, Yahweh, sent them food, manna. This manna floated down from the sky or perhaps even from heaven. Nowadays, “manna from heaven” means any lucky occurrence. In fact, an event so lucky that is on par with the Israelites receiving manna from God.

4) On July 7, 2008, the Latvian village of Dagda was besieged by hordes of scam artists trying to sell them a new warranty for their cars, to replace the old extended warranties that had expired. The Dagdans had only one day of food left. Then little Debbie from the nearby farms catapulted thousands of cranberries mousses into Dagda. She saved the town. The grateful Dadgans called her dessert, “Debbie’s Manna.” Over time, this shortened to Debesmanna. Now you know.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: