Thursday, July 7, 2011

Inspecting Rainier Cherries

Fresh Picked Rainier Cherries

Checking the size

Fresh packed Rainier Cherries

We were picking these beautiful Rainier cherries this morning in Oliver, British Columbia. Most of the fruit is bound for overseas markets like Hong Kong but some will be shipped to Vancouver too. I've eaten so many Rainier today everyone is asking me to save some for our customers. They actually weighed me in today before we started packing fruit and weighed me again afterwards. I gained a few pounds.

Good quality Rainiers always have a beautiful red blush, a bit of a crunch and taste near sweet as sugar. Select picking the fruit on the top of the trees first and a few days later the bottoms is best. The cost to produce this cherry is very high because defects tend to be very noticable.

How to buy Rainier cherries:

When buying Rainier cherries look for green stems ( a sign of freshness). Brown, black or dried out stems are signs of age, improper picking or handling. Premium cherries with high sugar (called "brix") should have at least 50% red blush; anything less and the fruit should be cheaper. Red speckling on the fruit seems to enhance their sweetness.

Avoid fruit with...

  • brown markings, caused by heat stress and rough handling
  • brown coloration, caused by wind rubbing the cherries together
  • bruises, caused by finger marks of pickers pulling too hard
  • cracks, caused by over spraying or frost damage
  • stemless fruit, a sign of age, over-ripe or heat stress

The Rainier season is short, take advantage of this supersweet variety while you can. Enjoy and let me know of any great places you've travelled and eaten these delicious cherries...

1 comment:

  1. Nice stuff! Thanks for sharing this post recently. I'm looking forward to reading more.


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