Cherries |


What they are: Cherries are part of the rose family, along with other stone fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots. (Also almonds.) The Romans discovered the small fleshy fruits in Asia Minor around 70 BC — the name cherry comes from the Turkish town of Cerasus. The Romans introduced cherries to Britain in the first century AD and they first appeared on North American shores with English colonists in the 1600’s. There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the United States, but the two kinds that are commonly eaten are the sweet cherry Prunus avium and the sour cherry Prunus Cerasus.

What to do with them: Cherries should be shiny, plump, and firm, with fresh, light green stems. Sour cherries and Bing cherries can range from bright, vibrant red to nearly black-purple. Rainier cherries — a cultivar of cherry developed in 1952 at Washington State University and named after Mount Rainier — are blush tinged whitish-yellow. Loosely cover and refrigerate unwashed cherries for up to one week. Cherries have a brief season, but freeze particularly well. To freeze cherries, wash, dry, stem and pit the cherries and place in resealable plastic freezer bags. Use cherries to make jams, sorbets, compotes, pies, salsas, and sauces.

What some chefs are doing with them right now: At Zahav in Philadelphia, haloumi cheese is wrapped in kataifi, and topped with sour cherries with black garlic & rose water, salt-roasted celtuce, and pistachios. At Baran’s 2239 in Hermosa Beach, CA grilled romanesco cauliflower is topped with a combination of balsamic cherries, horseradish and sage. Roasted Duck Liver with Rosemary and Pan-Fried Cherries are on the menu at the first U.S. location of the famous Parisian restaurant, Le Coq Ric, in New York. At the newly opened Mister Tuna in Denver, desserts include a dark-chocolate brownie with mascarpone mousse, black pepper-macerated cherries and candied macadamias. At Duke’s Chowder House in washington State the savory fruit options include Cherries Everywhere Salmon, made with broiled Wild Alaska salmon with local Washington Cherries and Grand Marnier butter sauce; a wedge salad with cherries

Need more ideas? Check out the cherry recipes in our Cooking District and Featured recipes sections.

Also check out this great video from Chow, which explains how to use a paper clip to pit your cherries:


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