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food & wine dictionary
Food and Wine Dictionary
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Said to date as far back as 300 b.c., cherries were named after the Turkish town of Cerasus. Throughout the centuries, cherry trees have been lauded for their deliciously succulent fruit as well as for their beauty. Tourists flock to Washington, D.C., every year to see the cherry blossoms on the ornamental cherry trees that were originally presented to America's capital in 1912 by Tokyo's governor. There are two main groups of cherries sweet and sour. The larger of the two are the firm, heart-shaped
. They're delicious for eating out of hand and can also be cooked. The most popular varieties range from the dark red to purplish black
to the golden, red-blushed
are usually made from Royal Ann cherries.
are smaller, softer and more globular than the sweet varieties. Most are too tart to eat raw, but make excellent pies, preserves and the like. The bestselling sour cherry varieties are the bright red
(the first cherry available in the late spring) and
and the dark mahogany red
. Most fresh cherries are available from May (June for sour cherries) through August. Choose brightly colored, shiny, plump fruit. Sweet cherries should be quite firm, but not hard; sour varieties should be medium-firm. Stemmed cherries are a better buy, but those with stems last longer. Store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
both sweet and sour are available in many markets today. They can be eaten as a snack, or used in baked goods or desserts as one would use raisins. Cherries contain minor amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Material adapted from the
The New Food Lover's Companion
© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
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