The cherry belongs to the genus Prunus, of which many others such as plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots and even almonds also belong. Often classed together as stone fruit or drupe, it refers to a fleshy fruit surrounding a hard pit or stone (seed).
Typically cherries are cultivated as either sweet or sour species, and are highly sort after for their flavour, colour and culinary use. The colour of the many cherry varieties vary from yellow to red to red-violet. Sweet cherries are the most common, mainly eaten fresh or added to numerous recipes, cakes as well as savory dishes. There are many processing applications in which cherries are used including jams, spreads, jellies or just canned whole.
Generally available seasonally in late spring / summer, cherries are considered a delicacy for their sweet, slightly acidic and juicy flesh, and visually stimulating glossy colour.
Sour cherries are more common used in cooking for their unique taste such as cherry pies, cobblers, muffins and often also
How to prepare
Select fruit that are firm, have a uniform colour and are glossy. Remove the stem and wash cherries thoroughly.
When eating fresh, be wary of the hard stone internally, so as to avoid chipped teeth.
Before using in compotes, jams or pastries, the stone should be removed with a sharp knife or a special cherry de-stoner. Watch out for your clothes and the kitchen cupboards, as cherry juice can stain which can be difficult to remove.
Buyer's and storage guide
Cherries are even more sensitive to bruising than other similar fruits such as plums. Buy plump, glossy and beautifully coloured fruit.
Cherries can be kept in a cool place up to two days. They can be kept a little longer in the refrigerator. It is also possible to freeze cherries in a sealed container for up to 12 months.
- Grab a handful and tuck in enjoying them fresh, just watch out for the stone
- Halved and stewed in a saucepan with some orange juice or your favourite liqueur for a tasty sauce
- Is an excellent accompaniment to many strong flavoured meats such as pork, turkey and cured hams
- Together with chocolate in any manner is a match made in heaven
- In a fruit salad along with other stone fruit, to bring together the tastes of summer - some sliced apple, nectarines, peaches and drizzled with some passionfruit pulp
- Sautéed with pineapple and pear and served with ice cream on waffles
- Stewed cherries used in many pastry dishes or flans
- Suits very well for use in compotes, jams, preserves and jellies, either on their own or combined with other fruits
- Matches extremely well with strong, vintage hard and soft cheeses