Cherishing Cherries

February is National Cherry Month! In our opinion, one of the more underrated fruits out there is the cherry. They are sweet, snackable, and refreshing for any time of year. They are great alone or an important ingredient in endless tasty recipes. That’s why we cherish this awesome stone fruit.

To start, there are two different types of cherries: tart and sweet. Tart cherries are good for cooking and baking, while sweet cherries are the type you buy to eat as a snack. When purchasing these sweet snacks, look for the firm and plump ones that appear bright and glossy. Sweet cherries are mainly grown in California, Washington, and Oregon, while tart cherries can commonly be found in Michigan and Wisconsin. Some popular types of sweet cherries are Bing, Lambert, and Rainier. The most common type of tart cherry is the Montgomery, best when used in baking as they hold their shape better than their more snackable relatives.

At Price Chopper & Market 32, we love using cherries in our recipes. And not just the classic cherry pie. Check out some of these delectable recipes!

World Famous Rainier cherries from our friends at Stemilt are in IN THE HOUSE! The sweetest cherry glows golden with a little blush, tender skin and creamy white flesh – so good! These little treasures from Washington State are only available for a few weeks each year, so now is the time to enjoy them!Single cherriy Rainier cherries are a cross between Bing and Van cherries, and originated in 1952. Cherries put a lot of good on your table – sweet cherries contain a good dose of potassium, beta carotene, anthocyanins, and quercetin, which supports better blood pressure. Cherries are also high in water and fiber – just about 90 calories and 3 grams of fiber per cup, they fit into everyone’s eating plan. They are also a good source of melatonin, which supports better sleep. These little gems are really versatile – triple washed in their bag, they are ready for snacking, chopping and adding to plain yogurt, or baking up a quick summer cherry cobbler. No time to bake? Fake that cobbler with chopped cherries, granola and a dollop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream – yum! Try a new tradition and add them to cool grain salads (like farro and quinoa), bake them into oatmeal bars, or toss them into ambrosia coleslaw with chopped walnuts and some mandarin oranges. They are too much fun to miss – get to the store and get yours quick! Cherries Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN

Written by: Tyler Blance- Produce Merchandising

Cherries are a classic fruit that everyone is familiar with.  When you’re shopping at your local Price Chopper this time of year, chances are you’ll find a freshly-stocked and vibrant cherry display.  I’m here to tell you a little story and give you some information on those cherries. StemiltHillCherries(2)We get our cherries from the Mathison family in Washington at Stemilt Growers- a family that was a pioneer in the cherry industry.  Stemilt is a Native American term that means “coming from the mountains”- Pretty cool!  Last week, a group of teammates from our Produce team took a trip out to visit the folks at Stemilt, located on the beautiful Stemilt Hill in Washington, to take a tour of the operation.  They were very impressed- the Mathisons have been farming the same land since 1893!  Kyle Mathison (pictured in overalls in the group photo) is a 4th generation cherry farmer whose passion in life is growing cherries.  Kyle’s cherry farming passion helps to create the beautiful, luscious cherries that you can find in your local Price Chopper!StemiltTripProduce On the nutritional end, cherries make a great snack.  Cherries are high in antioxidants and contain melatonin, which helps you maintain optimum brain function.  They’re low in fat and calories, cholesterol and sodium free, and on top of all that: they’re a great source of vitamin C and potassium. So there you have it! Next time you’re journeying through our produce department, you’ll know a little more about those beautiful cherries that catch your eye. There are lots of great recipes for cherries, but today I’d like to offer a simple, delicious way to create the classic cherry pie.  When 80’s hair band Warrant sang that oh-so-catchy “She’s My Cherry Pie,” they may have been referring to this easy and awesome recipe.