It’s almost cherry season! Unlike other fruits like apples, bananas and peaches, cherries are one of the few fruits only seen in stores when in-season, which is generally the end of May until September at the latest.
Cherries can be sour or sweet, and when put on top can signify the finishing touch to any literal food or metaphorical life event. To get a better look at a fruit you have to enjoy while it lasts, here are five interesting facts about cherries.
Sweet & Sour
There are two main types of cherries; sweet and sour. Within those two types, there are thousands of different varieties. Since we don’t have the time to go over every single one, let’s focus on some of the more popular types.
Fruit for Thought
In addition to the fact that cherries are delicious, there are also several health benefits to enjoying these delightful fruits. According to the Meredith Health Group, cherries contain anti-inflammatory properties, may reduce the risk of gout, have possible Cancer-prevention compounds, and more. They even contain natural melatonin that can help you fall and stay asleep, as well as polyphenols that help connect information from our brain to the rest of our body.
Pick & Store
If you want to cherry-pick the best cherries, first make sure you know what variety you need. If you want sweet, ripe Bing cherries, go with dark deep reds. Queen Anne cherries are best when firm, and a red/orange color, possibly with a few lighter spots. Montmorency cherries should be bright red, almost like what you think of when you see the perfect cherry in a cartoon. The best Morello cherries are so dark red they are almost brown. With all cherry varieties, an attached stem does not indicate freshness, as long as the cherries are firm and the right color for the type, they are a good choice. To store your cherries, place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or you can freeze them either pitted or whole.
It's the Pits
Removing the pits from cherries can be a tedious and laborious process, but it doesn’t have to be! Simply remove the pits by taking a paperclip, unbending it into an “S” shape, inserting one side into the stem hole and scooping out the pit. You can also poke them out with a straw, chopstick or a pastry tip, and they’re ready to enjoy whole or used for cooking or baking.
Cherry pies, while delicious, are not the only way you can use cherries. You can also use them in a variety of different baked goods, cool treats and even drinks. Check out some of our favorite ways to use cherries with these recipes: