Mention cherries and you might automatically think of Washington State, Michigan or northern California. But did you know that over 20 varieties of cherries are harvested annually in New York State?
July is the month for cherries in New York. Sweet, red Windsors; Bings and Schmidts; exotic, white and multi-colored Rainiers and Napoleons; deep red, tart Morellos and Montmorency are all in fresh-picked abundance. Courtesy of our colleagues at Red Jacket Orchards, we’ll have a steady stream of these Empire State cherries into August.
Wherever they’re grown, cherries tend to be amongst the first tree fruit to ripen, and they have a relatively short harvest, only about a month. Cherries are a summer fruit and are generally available only from mid-June to late August.
Cherries are a very healthy snack. Two dozen cherries only amount to about 100 calories. They’re also rich in potassium and antioxidants and contain fair amounts of Vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Though delicious on their own, cherries also make an excellent accompaniment for cheese. Sweet cherries go great with fresh goat and creamy, buttery soft-ripened cheeses; sour, tart cherries are traditionally paired with sheep’s milk cheeses, particularly brebis from the French Basque.
Don’t forget to pick some cherries of your own on your next visit. Like a good guest, they’re great while they’re here but don’t stay that long.