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All About Cherries

Like strawberries, cherries are another of my favorite spring/early summer fruits. Since today is National Cherry Cobbler day, I thought I would take the time to let you know all about cherries. Cherries grow on trees and are a member of the stone fruit family - along with plums and peaches. When purchasing cherries avoid those with blemishes, mushy/light skin, or those that are shriveled. Cherries do not ripen after they have been picked, so choose those that appear plump, firm, smooth, dark/brightly colored with their stems pliable and attached (dry stems = old cherries). As they bruise easily, handle with care and thoroughly rinse and wash before consuming. Refrigerate to improve flavor and length of life, yet eat at room temperature for the best taste. Store cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

You should eat them in about three days. Generally speaking darker colored cherries are sweeter making them an excellent dessert. There are a wide variety of cherries on the market from Bing to Ranier to Queen Anne, and the peak cherry season is June/July. A sour variety is best for making pies, jams, and pastries - save the sweet ones for eating alone. To pit, slam with a knife as you would a clove of garlic to remove the skin or use a paper clip to slide in and stab the pit out.

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