Healthy Eating

Cherries

Cherries: Main Image

Buying Tips

Sweet cherries are commonly the only ones available fresh in the market. Look for shiny, firm, plump fruit with fresh stems and unbroken skin. Beware of wax that can give a false shiny appearance. Avoid cherries with wrinkled skin or white spots that indicate mold. Wait until June to purchase cherries as lighter red cherries, sold earlier, do not ripen after picking. The darkest cherries are the ripest.

Varieties

The three types of cherries include sweet (Prunus avium), sour (P. cerasus), and wild (P. avium). Sweet cherries are usually large and heart-shaped. They include the deep-burgundy colored Bing, Lambert, and Tartarian, common in the United States, and the yellow varieties, usually blushed with red, called Royal Ann, Rainier, or Napoleon. Royal Ann cherries are the ones specially processed, dyed red, and sold as maraschino cherries. Other sweet cherry varieties include the Bigaroon and Gean. Sour varieties, favored for use in pies and preserves, include the brilliant red Montmorency and the smaller Morello.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.