First here is what to look for, the best cherries no matter the variety have tight, shiny skin and are not overly soft. Luckily for you, our Central Market quality inspector checks each and every shipment and we turn away any product that doesn’t meet our size and taste specifications, they are then in your local store the very next day. Go ahead, pick a handful blindfolded. Store them, unwashed and with stems attached, in a bowl in the fridge for up to one week. (Wash right before eating, as water can cause the cherry to soften and split.)
Then you want to know what you are doing with your cherries. Are you snacking? Making a cocktail? Baking a pie? This will help you decide if you want sweet our sour cherries. We currently have beautiful Rainier and Bing cherries, both are sweet, and great fresh or quickly sautéed or roasted. Our sour cherries, which are better for longer baking recipes, start to arrive in July.
Here are a few flavor matches that I think are always a winner:
- Goat cheese and cherries – make an easy appetizer with a quick sauté of the cherries then top a cracker schmeared with a black pepper goat cheese.
- Pork and cherries – roast pork meets it’s match with fresh cherries. This recipe is an easy weeknight dinner, but also feels special enough for guests.
- Creamy custards and cherries – a lot of thing can go with sweet creamy custard like ice cream, cheesecake, buttermilk pie, and yogurt but the hint of tart in cherries brighten up all these foods. Even try ricotta.
- Flaky crust and cherries – simply put we are talking pies, cobblers, and more pies. For example this Summertime Cherry Peach Cobbler is the only cobbler I want this time of year.
- Peaches and cherries together – stone fruits unite, the fact that peaches are sweeter than cherries make this a great yin and yang when they are together, see above.
- Bourbon and cherries – make your own version of Luxardo cherries for your next Old-Fashioned or Manhattan.
- Chocolate and cherries- it is hard to not think about this, but more than those candies your grandmother loved, Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Cherry Cake is one of my favorites.
Now go ahead, put that shiny red cherry on top of something delicious.