Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fresh Cherries

Inside of a Cherry

I have sold millions of pounds of cherries and made a few mistakes along the way. Here are some great tips to buy and enjoy cherries.

When you're buying cherries the first thing to look for are green stems (signifys fresh picked). Secondly, the stems should be attached to the cherries, otherwise the fruit is either old or lower quality. There should be no pock marks on the fruit, a sign of age, no splits (cracks) caused by rain. If you are purchasing organic cherries be aware that a very large percentage contain worms. Make sure you open a few beforehand and check. They should be hydro-cooled (usually marked on the package or box) for best quality, crunchiness, and longevity.

Bagged cherries are the norm in today's marketplace, this reduces labor costs, shrink, and increases tonnage at the store level. But the quality is not the best, make sure you inspect the bags closely for soft fruit, syrup, mold, wetness, if you can sample the fruit the flesh should not be white (immature) unless they are Rainier or Red Sonnet cherries. Smell the bags, if they have a wine odor they are not fresh and should be avoided.

Cherries need to be picked early in the day when it's cool so most reputable growers will stop picking fruit by 1:00 pm. The fruit is taken to a packing facility on the premises or within short driving distance of the orchard where it's immediately submerged in a ice cold water bath for several minutes that chills the fruit to the core and removes the field heat which produces a superb quality cherry.

Sometimes you wonder why one cherry is $1.99/lb and the other $2.99/lb when you're shopping for fresh produce. Well there are several reasons, first the new varieties of cherries (Lapin, Red Sonnet, Stacatto, Skeena, Sequoia, Sweetheart, Sunburst) have a smaller pit so you get more actual cherry for your dollar. Bing Cherries have a large pit maybe twice the size of these new varieties.

The size of the cherry is important too, cherries are sold by size, the bigger they are the more costly. Smaller fruit on trees produce a bigger yield and thus lowers the production costs of the grower. Larger cherries, the tonnage can be halved due to the energy the tree puts out to produce the larger size and the pruning and culling by the grower.

Best Cherry Varieties:

  • Bing cherry - heart shaped, red in color, very sweet, crisp outer flesh, crunchy, soft inner flesh, big pit
  • Lapin cherry - no.1 cherry sold in the world, supersweet, hard crunchy flesh, dark in color, very small pit, does not travel well
  • Rainier cherry - yellow in color, pink blush, supersweet, crunchy, firm flesh, only the Red Sonnet is sweeter, very small pit
  • Red Sonnet cherry - heart shaped, red in color, extremely sweet flesh, crisp outer flesh, soft inner white flesh, very small pit
  • Van cherry - supersweet, very dark color, old variety, not crunchy, fantastic flavor
  • Stacatto cherry - supersweet, very dark color, not as juicy, the crunchiest variety, very small pit
  • Sweetheart cherry - heart shaped, red in color, incredibly sweet, very crunchy, very small pit
  • Sunburst cherry - soft cherry, incredible flavor, bursts in your mouth, tiny pit
  • Sam cherry - old variety, soft cherry, black in color, fantastic flavor, big pit

1 comment:

  1. Wow very nice placement i like it very much because the logo behind it is very likely to heart touching.that's why i impressed ans could you please more share with me.and i will back as soon as possible. thanks for sharing with me. "Michael Muskat"


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