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Saturday 16 July 2016

Cherries - It's National Cherry Day !

Here in the UK, today 16th July, is National Cherry Day ...
Cherry (pronounced che-ree) ... one of the food delights of summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour and gorgeous good looks. 
English cherries, their colours ranging from delicate pink-flushed gold through bright red to almost black, are in season for only about six weeks from the end of June. Sadly they're in danger of disappearing completely as the number of trees has decreased rapidly over the last fifty years, due to competition from cheaper overseas cherries.

Kent is famous for its excellent cherries, which have flourished there since Roman times. Cherry fairs, once held to celebrate the harvest have now made a welcome comeback in the county. The luscious fruits were taken to London in the past to be sold in the city's streets, where the cherry sellers cried their wares. In Stuart times (between 1603 and 1714) Rotherhithe was famous for its Cherry Garden and Londoners often spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon relaxing there. Samuel Pepys mentions visiting the area to buy cherries for his wife, in his famous diary.

The juicy flesh of cherries can be sweet or sour, depending on which of the hundreds of varieties they are... cherries are divided into three groups ... sweet, sour and hybrids.

You're most likely to find English cherries at farmers' markets or local greengrocers. Cherries are also available in supermarkets but check country of origin. In the UK they are generally at their peak in mid July.

Choose the best:
Buy them as fresh as possible as they don't keep well, and look for firm, glossy, plump fruits with green stems - brown stems indicate that the cherries are either too old or have been stored incorrectly - to the detriment of the flavour.
Buy plump, shiny cherries that have their stalks attached and look for fruit that is dark red, firm but not hard.

Generally, pale cherries are sweet and dark cherries more acidic. If you can, it is always a good idea to try before you buy to get the flavour that you prefer.

Prepare and Store:
Keep unwashed cherries in the fridge for 3-4 days and wash them just before serving. Wash cherries quickly under cold running water - never soak them. Cherries also freeze well. Wash and drain them, remove the stems, then spread out in a single layer on a plastic or metal tray and open freeze. When completely frozen, they can be packed in an airtight plastic freezer bag or box
Remove stalks and use a cherry stoner to pit the cherries if you are using a large number for a recipe.

Cook it:
Sweet cherries are suitable for eating, sour cherries are great in tarts, pies, crumbles and sauces.

Details about cherries from here and here

"Serving Suggestions for Cherries on a Low-Carb Diet

If you can find sour cherries, choose them, as they provide more nutrients for less sugar. Rather than snack on cherries alone and find you've overshot your carb allowance, try adding them to yogurt or ricotta cheese. They can also be an interesting addition to savoury've probably had chicken with cranberries well how about chicken and sour cherries ...adapt this recipe suggestion."

If you want a low carb cake recipe that uses pitted black cherries then this is nice ...

Black Forest Gateau
see recipe here
of course you may wish to use fresh cherries ...

Enjoy National Cherry Day!
All the best Jan


Debbie said...

so yummy, this sounds delicious. i love cherries!!!!!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

My wife and I sometimes muse about which is our favourite fruit. I suspect that to some extent the verdict is influenced by what is fresh at the time, but cherries would be high on the list. Pretty soon we will be able to enjoy glorious Niagara peaches and tomatoes are already available. Between the peaches and the tomatoes I will have to wear a kerchief just to keep mopping my chin!

Jo said...

I love cherries but they're always so expensive in the shops. It looked as though my little cherry tree was going to give me a good crop this year but the pesky birds have beaten me to them, there isn't a single one left. My own fault, I should have netted them.

Anonymous said...

Ooh love cherries and strawbs too!

Tamsin x

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Adoro cerejas uma das minhas frutas favoritas.
Um abra├žo e bom fim de semana.

Dewena said...

Our favorites! Love them, buy them every trip to the market. But I can remember the best ones were from the big tree in my aunt's yard in North Carolina, many decades ago.

happyone said...

Never heard of National Cherry day but sounds like a good day. : ) Cherries is my one of my very favorite fruits and I love spitting out the pits. : )

Martha said...

Oh, YUMMY! I love cherries. I had a nice big bowl at lunch.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I love cherries, and would have a blast at a cherry festival!

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Jan,

Love cherries and Black Forest gateau - we have to wait a few months before they are in season.
Happy Sunday

The Happy Whisk said...

I use cherries for medicine. Great little goodies, they are.

Lisa said...

I managed to buy a huge tray of cherries at the end of the car boot a couple of weeks ago for £2. There were loads in there and S was very happy indeed.
I don't like the taste of them but I love wearing them! I have cherry earrings and clothes with them on!
Lisa x