Fresh cherries — so tantalizing, juicy and vibrantly flavored — are one of the sweet joys of life, and June is the peak of this beloved fruit’s short season across most of the US. Cherry trees thrive where winter temperatures are not too severe and summer heat is moderate, so their growing areas are limited.
Cherries fall into two basic categories: sweet and sour. Sweet cherries are further differentiated by color: dark and light. The Bing is the undisputed king, the most popular and well-known variety in this country. Characterized by its large size and very dark purple-black flesh, the Bing is exceptionally sweet and wonderful for eating out of hand.
Why choose organic cherries?
- Cherries are #17 on the Environmental Working Group's “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce,” a list of produce that carries the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally. So choosing organic cherries makes good sense — especially for children, whose growing bodies are so much more susceptible to environmental chemical exposures than adults’.
- Organic cherries are grown using sustainable methods that build rich soil, support vibrant field ecosystems, and keep potentially hazardous chemicals out of our environment. We believe organic is the healthiest choice for people and the planet — and we think organic tastes better, too!
- WhatsOnMyFood.org from the Pesticide Action Network shows you searchable results for fruit like cherries and a wide range of other organic and conventional foods. It’s an easy-to-use and empowering tool for learning about pesticide residues and their health effects for all of us.
How to select and store cherries
- Look for large, glossy cherries that are plump and firm. Generally, the deeper the color of the skin (according to variety), the riper and sweeter the fruit. Whenever possible, select cherries with their green stems attached; these will be the freshest and last the longest.
- Cherries bruise easily, so handle them gently. Always remove spoiled or moldy fruits so these don’t accelerate decay in those that remain.
- Warm temperatures degrade the flavor and texture of fresh cherries, so make sure you select fruit that’s cool when you buy it. At home, store unwashed cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tips for using cherries
- If you’re lucky enough to have an abundance of fresh cherries, freeze some to enjoy later in your favorite recipes. First, rinse and drain the cherries thoroughly. Remove the stems and the pits. Spread the fruit onto baking sheets in a single layer and place in the freezer until solidly frozen. Transfer the frozen cherries into freezer bags and keep frozen for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.