It’s Cherry Season!

cherriesI adore the variety of fresh produce available in the summer, but one of the highlights for me each summer is cherry season. Cherries have been featured prominently in local grocery stores’ produce sections for the past few weeks, and I’ve been taking full advantage, picking up a bag or two a week.

I don’t do anything particularly clever with the cherries I buy. Once home from the market, I wash them, dry them, and try to resist eating a full bag in one sitting. Now I’m thinking I might not be doing those fresh cherries their full due.

This past week a local paper featured a recipe for cherry gazpacho. Basically, it’s like any other gazpacho recipe, but in place of tomatoes, you use fresh cherries. I wasn’t too sure about the recipe, but several friends thought it sounded excellent. So, I decided to do a bit of investigating for other cherry recipes.

It’s National Cherry Festival this week in Traverse City, Michigan, and their website features a slew of cherry recipes. Most of the recipes sound delicious, but nearly all use dried, frozen, or canned cherries. I had heard of cold cherry soups before and have found a number of recipes for those. Most seem relatively simple using either red wine or sour cream as a key ingredient. While I’m intrigued by the recipes for cold cherry soups, I’m not certain I’m intrigued enough to pit as many cherries as are required for most of the recipes.

I’m thinking I may just stick with eating my fresh cherries as I have been, and try out some of the cold cherry soup recipes with frozen cherries.

Do you like fresh cherries? Do you have any cherry recipes you’re particularly fond of? And are you enjoying any fresh produce right now?

LinnieGayl

18 thoughts on “It’s Cherry Season!

  1. Tee

    Cherries can be like candy to me, especially the black cherries. LinnieGayl, if it wasn’t such a zoo up north in Michigan during the Traverse City Cherry Festival, then I would recommend your going up there. Actually, even some time before and after, you can still get them at stands all along the roads there. When we camped as a family years ago up north, we’d buy them by the bagfulls and eat them in the car. They were so sweet and delicious.

    You see a lot of salads and entrees here in our area that feature Traverse City cherries in sauces for entrees and in salads and as additives to ground meats in recipes. There is something in cherries that provides disease-fighting antioxidants. Data is also being found that it’s great for other health benefits, such as the heart and memory, etc.

    So, in answer to your question, yes, I love cherries in most any form, but for sure the black cherries eaten just as they are.

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  2. LinnieGayl

    Tee, “like candy” is exactly how I treat them! I’ve seen quite a few restaurants around here as well featuring dried cherries. My brother once added dried cherries to chili, and it was fantastic; sweetened it up just a bit. I much prefer dried cherries to dried cranberries. I think they’re really good added to stuffing/dressing at Thanksgiving. I don’t think I could handle the big crowds at the Cherry Festival, either.

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  3. Missie

    Your not wanting to pit enough fresh cherries for most of the recipes you found is no doubt why those recipes referred to dried or frozen or tinned cherries. ;-)

    I’ve never done much with fresh cherries — they’re generally rather pricey around here. The fresh fruits we turn to most often are the relatively affordable apples — hubby prefers the tart green ones; I generally prefer red delicious, pink lady, Fiji, and other types of apples. Strawberries, pears, peaches, nectarines, and sometimes plums are fresh fruits we get sometimes, also.

    A few fresh cherries might be a nice addition to a green (I’m thinking romaine and/or butter lettuce) salad, along with some toasted (to bring out the flavor) nuts (walnuts or pecans first come to mind, ‘though almonds might work, also), some tomato, perhaps some feta cheese, all drizzled with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (Red wine vinegar might be tasty, as well, if you’re wanting a sweet/sour effect.)

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  4. Missie

    Oh, or a salad with fresh spinach leaves — that might work, too. And bleu cheese or gorgonzola would be as tasty (in a different way!) as feta.

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  5. LinnieGayl

    Missie, I suspect you’re right about why there aren’t more recipes listed using fresh cherries. That’s a good idea trying to add just a few to a green salad. It wouldn’t be too onerous to pit just a few, and I suspect it would add a nice taste to a green salad.

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  6. Tee

    LeeB.: I love cherries but can’t eat that many at one sitting.

    Lee, I sort of left that out of my post. Eating black cherries straight out of the bag has its consequences; and I gladly pay them. LOL

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  7. Nathalie T

    My granmother has several cherry trees in her garden so I’m fortunate ennough to be able to eat them directly from the tree. Where I live (Sweden) the black cherries aren’t ripe yet, but I expect to be able to eat them in a week or two. I also eat them like candy.

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  8. LinnieGayl

    Nathalie, that is indeed fortunate that you can eat them directly from the tree. Growing up I lived in a major cherry-growing area. Several times during the season my mother would take us to pick cherries at local farms. She used them to make jams and froze some for winter pies. While I helped pick them, I mostly ate what I picked.

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