"The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May." - Sir Thomas Malory
The month of May conjures forth images of juicy fruit and cool starry filled nights in which to enjoy them right before summer is upon us. This only makes one wonder which delicious fruit are at its peak during the grand month that is May. This month seems to have obtained its name from the Greek Goddess, Maia, who was also recognized with the Roman Goddess of fertility. The name seems fitting for this fertile month.
One of fruits that “bring forth fruit and flourish in May” is the cherry. Cherries are known as stone fruit or drupes, which is a fruit in which the fleshy skin surrounds a pit or “stone”. There are two types of cherries, sweet( such as bing, Lambert, and Tartarian) and sour(such as Early Richmond, Montmorency…etc) The sweet cherries being to ripen in May, while the sour mature around June. Since May is when the sweet cherry makes its debut, it is the sweet cherry that will obtain full attention.
The sweet cherry seemed to have started off in Asia Minor and was most likely carried to Europe through the aid of birds. The caring and cultivation began with the Greeks and later on the Romans. Move forward in history and in 1629, cherries made their move to America. Cherries can be found in several regions of the United States, but a whopping seventy percent of the cherries grown in the United States come from only four states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah).
The Bing cherry is by far the most popular cherry; known for its sweet flavor and its plump roundness. It has a purplish-red flesh and a deep red skin and is very close to black in color when fully ripe. When fully ripe, it will exhibit a very sweet taste but don’t be fooled the firm and red ones are also on the sweet scale. One must be very careful with these ripe Bing cherries. Once ripened, they only have a few precious days before rotting, so keep them refrigerated and use almost immediately.
The Merry Month of May has arrived and brought these full romantic fruit for the world’s enjoyment. How can one give praise to this fruit and perhaps revel in some ancient Roman debauchery? The only recommendation is The Bada Bing Cherry Martini.
Bada Bing Cherry Martini
4 bing cherries, plus extra for garnish
1/2 ounce Kirschwasser (Kirsch) Cherry Brandy
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces blood orange juice
1 dash maraschino (Luxardo)
1 In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cherries together with the Kirsch.
2 Add in the vodka and blood orange juice; fill with ice.
3 Cover and shake vigorously; set aside.
4 Splash a small amount of the maraschino liqueur into a martini glass; swirl a few times to completely coat the inside of the glass and discard the rest.
5 Strain the drink into the coated martini glass.
6 Drop a bing cherry into the glass for garnish.
Bada Bing… enjoy those cool starry nights.
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