Fun Facts about Cherries
We love cherries for their glossy yellow and red color, their plump and luscious appearance and sweet-tart taste. All of this attributes that make cherries delicious come in small package that fits just right in our mouth.
Cherries are fleshy drupe (stonefruit) fruits that are produced from plants with the genus Prunus of the flowering family Rutaceae. Commercial fresh cherries for sale, including gourmet cherries, are obtained from varieties of a small number of species like sweet cherries (botanical name Prunus Avium) and sour cherries (botanical name Prunus cerasus).
The name cherry came from the Latin word “cerasum” which refers to an antiquated Greek region called Kerasous as this is where cherries are thought to have first to be exported to Europe.
Although a little bit obscure, it is thought that the first sweet variety of cherry originated from a region between the Caspian and Black Seas in Asia Minor in 70 B.C. Other indigenous sweet cherries were found in Europe, western Asia, and parts of northern Africa. The acidic cherries are most likely from the Swiss Alps and Adriatic Sea.
Cherries arrived in North America in the 1600s and were brought to the settlement of New Netherland (Brooklyn, New York today) when it was still under Dutch sovereignty.
Popular Cherry Varieties
- Sweeetheart Cherries are late season cherries popular for their heavy crops, prolonged harvest and crisp crack resistance. They have a deep red to rich mahogany outer skin and a heart-shape like appearance thus the sweetheart name. The inner flesh of this cherry variety is juicy, firm and has a sugary sweet taste with a well balanced tart finish.
- Bing Cherries originated in Milwaukie, Oregon and is the most produced sweet cherry variety in the United States. This cherry was named after Ah Bing, a Manchurian Chinese foreman of Oregon horticulturist Seth Lewelling who created the variety. You can get Bing cherries for sale from local markets, groceries or online.
- Chelan Cherries or black cherries are round, sweet cherries that ripen earlier than Bing cherries. Chelan cherries are firm and carry a deep mahogany color and sugar sweet flavor. They are also rain crack resistant which allows a longer shelf life.
- Rainier Cherries are yellow inside and out and boast a sweet flavor with a bit of tartness. The Rainier cherry was named after Mount Rainier, Washington’s largest peak.
More Fun Facts
- There are more than 1000 different cherry varieties, sweet and tart combined, but only 20 per cent of them are used for commercial purposes.
- Archeologists found fossilized Cherry pits in primordial caves within Europe and Asia.
- The earliest recorded information about cherries was by Greek author Theophrastus in his book History of Plants written in 300 B.C.
- The world record for spitting cherry pit is 93 feet by Brian Krause in Eau Claire, Michigan which occurred in an annual 2004 cherry-pit spitting competition.
- You can buy cherries from fruit stands, local markets and grocery stores once cherry season begins. You can purchase cherry gifts online and have them delivered straight to your door.