A small, soft, bright red fruit with a stony seed. Cherries are delicious fruits that can be sweet or sour to taste and are often used to make beverages, cocktails, fruit salads, jams, pies, preserves, sauces and more.
Cherries also provide a good source of antioxidants which are essential in maintaining a healthy diet.
small red or whitish with red edges
Selecting and Buying
Avoid those with cuts, bruises, or stale, dry stems. Stemmed cherries are cheaper but those with intact stems actually have longer shelf life.
If you're planning to buy cherries in bottles, look for broken or damaged container first. If the water inside the container is half full, or at least an half an inch lesser, do not but it because less water means a sign of leak and it might affect the cherries inside. Also check for expiration date. A bottled cherries can last up to 2 months.
Cherries are good for you, and they're a versatile fruit. Cherries are also delicious and easy to grow. A cherry tree can present a beautiful addition to any landscape or garden, and it will give you the added bonus of harvesting your own fruit. We're going to look at how to make growing your own cherry trees an easy endeavor.
Determine what sort of cherry tree you would like to plant. There are sweet and tart, dwarf and standard. Some varieties do better in certain areas. Check with your local nursery to decide what's best for your area. Some cherry trees are self-pollinating. Getting one of these means you'll only need one to have it bear fruit. Otherwise, you'll need to get a couple.
Find a suitable place to plant your tree (or trees). There should be plenty of sunlight, and the soil should be fairly rich. Planting a new cherry tree in the same location one has previously been can be a recipe for disaster since many of the essential soil nutrients might be gone. Make sure the soil has adequate drainage.
Plant your tree. If planting more than one, standard sized trees should be placed between 20 and 30 feet apart. Dwarf trees should be between 8 to 12 feet apart. This will provide enough sun and soil nutrients for each tree.
Add mulch. Leave about half a foot between the layer of mulch and the trunk of the tree.
Watch your trees. You'll need to keep an eye on soil content, and make sure that it stays slightly acidic. If you need to add fertilizer, do so in the spring before the tree blossoms.
Prune, according to the type of cherry tree you have planted. Again, check with your local nursery on how you should prune for your specific variety and climate. Pruning should be done in the late winter when the trees are dormant.
Harvest the cherries annually. The cherry tree will begin to bear fruit in about its third growing season.
When harvesting, be careful not to damage the point of the branch where it is attached to the tree, or you may do permanent damage.
Preparation and Use
Sour cherries are used in soups and pork dishes and pies. They are also used in combination with sugar which actually balances the acidity and brings out the fruit's aroma and flavour.
Sweet cherries are recommended to be eaten fresh.
Conserving and Storing
How to Store Cherries
Cherries are a sweet-tart fruit perfect for pies, tarts or just eating plain. They are also loaded with antioxidants that help your body stay healthy. Keep fresh cherries in the refrigerator for best storage.
Since cherries are tender and easily bruised, store them in a wide shallow bowl to help distribute the weight. A rigid container will also help them from getting bumped around in the fridge.
Top the bowl with a loose plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. A loose cover keeps them from drying out, but also allows for air circulation, which will help prevent mold.
Rinse and pit cherries just prior to eating. For best flavor, allow the cherries to come to room temperature.
Use fresh cherries within 2 to 4 days of purchase.
Cherries may also be frozen or dried. To freeze, rinse and pit the cherries, then place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they are frozen solid, then transfer to a zipper top freezer bag or other air-tight container. To dry, rinse and pit the cherries, then follow the instructions on your dehydrator.