Ingredient Spotlight: Buying, Storing and Preparing Cherries

how to buy store cook cherriesIt’s not as often as we like that we get succulent cherries, but when we put our hands on a batch of good ones, it’s a feast. Fleshy and juicy, they have a lovable flavor.

There are two types of cherries: sweet and sour. The sweet variety is best for eating raw, the latter is more convenient for making pies, clafoutis and cooking in general. Most of the cherries you  find at the grocery stores are Bing cherries: deep red and sweet. You will find sour —tart— cherries at farmers markets most of the time. In general they are smaller with a bright red with hints of yellow sometimes. They are too tart to eat raw like their sister variety.

Buying and storing cherries
Look for shiny and firm specimens with green stems. If the majority of the cherries look ok, grab them by the handful. Store your fresh bought cherries wrapped in plastic (not too tight) in the refrigerator’s crisper; use them as soon as possible because they won’t last long.

How to prepare cherries
Just wash and dry if you plan to eat directly out of hand. Remove the stem and pit for cooking. Use a cherry pitter if you a lot of fruit to process. Otherwise, cut them in half witha paring knife and remove the pit.

Cherries recipes
Here’s a small selection of recipes using cherries from our index:

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