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The cherry is a stone fruit related to the plum, peach, almond, apricot, and nectarine. It is sometimes considered a culinary berry, although it is distinguished by its pit, which must be removed when eating.[1]



Cherries come in a range of colors, from yellow-orange to red or purple.[1][2] The flesh can be firm or juicy, with a single inedible pit.[2] Commercially-available cherries are divided broadly into sweet and sour varieties.[3] As the name implies, sweet cherries are sweet in flavor and can be eaten plain. On the other hand, sour cherries are much more tart and can generally only be cooked with.[3]



In temperate climates, cherries are a summer fruit, typically hitting their peak in June or July in the northern hemisphere.[3]

Selection and storage


When selecting fresh cherries, look for plump, unblemished fruit. They should be firm and not soft, and the stems should be green.[3] Avoid removing the stems until ready to eat or use. They do not ripen after picking and should be stored in the fridge.[3] They can be pitted and frozen for long-term storage. Cherries are also commonly available dried or jarred in syrup.[2]

Suitable for both savory and sweet dishes, cherries are common in a range of cuisines. Sweet cherries are often eaten fresh, though they are often used in baked dishes and confections.[1][3] Sour cherries are also popular in baked goods, and they add a pop of tart flavor and color to meat dishes.[1] Maraschino cherries are dyed bright red and stored in syrup—these are popular as an ice cream topping. Cherries are also commonly processed into syrups and liqueurs such as kirsch.[2]




  1. a b c d The Chefs of Le Cordon Bleu (2011-12-02). Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking Foundations. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-4390-5713-1.
  2. a b c d The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) (2015-02-25). Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-92865-3.
  3. a b c d e f Labensky, Sarah; Martel, Priscilla; Damme, Eddy Van (2015-01-06). On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals, Updated Edition. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-13-388675-7.