Sour cherry season!!


hart cherry pitter. Last year we gave up on it, either the cherries were to soft or too small. This year, perfect performance. Went thru 6 pints very quickly - seemed like it took longer to de-stem them.
I’ve always wondered why the grocery store has every fruit possible in the frozen section. I’ve never found sour cherries. Has anyone? Not the canned or jarred type.


That looks like a fun project.

As a side note…as young boy on a farm my grandmother used to freeze bing cherries. Those were our summer and winter snacks. Who needs candy when there’s bing cherries.


Sour cherries are not easy to grow nor are they very profitable other than for commercial use. Itsn9t uncommon for a late frost to kill the whole crop… The season is barely 2 weeks and as soon as they get ripe the birds are all over them. Very few people grow them around here in NJ. I know a couple growers (& one that won’t sell wholesale) so we usually get enough for a few batches of jam & a couple pies.


Yes they available commercially (to Professinals anyway). Frozen are available Year round and fresh for about 5-8 Weeks in Season . You can order directly from Growers on line but they are expensive!!! (at least in small quantities)


I’ve never seen them fresh OR frozen, I don’t think. I prefer cherries with a little tartness to balance the sweetness, which is why I don’t like the Raniers or Royal Annes. Sadly, cherries don’t grow here.
What are the tart varieties other than montmorency?

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I just pitted four pints and am freezing them for sometime in the winter when I will inevitably need a reminder of summer!


I grew up in Michigan, and yes, you can find them frozen there, although not usually in the regular grocery store. Gordon Food Service and other restaurant supply-type places have them in large quantities. You can also buy them frozen directly from orchards.

I picked 18 pounds from an orchard in upstate NY to stock my freezer this year - probably ate a pound while pitting, as I adore them fresh. This orchard (and I think other orchards in the area) had a great crop this year and we got them at the peak - didn’t even have to stem them, as they practically fell into our hands while picking, leaving the stems attached to the tree!


So envious of your cherry bounty. I’m hoping to find some more this weekend at the farmers market.

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I just read something about some unusually bad seasons in Michigan. I’ve never tried them, but have wondered why.

That was exactly our experience here in Asheville, too.

LOVE sour cherries and am envious! A wonderful fruit, for sure. The season where I am is brief, in fact seems to last only a minute. I always miss it, since they’re not widely carried in markets here, but have sourced a place where I can get them frozen, year round. One year we got lucky, and were gifted an amount for a generous heaped pie. Heaven!

All tart cherries fall into two main categories, amarelle and morello. Amarelles have pale yellow flesh/juice and tend to be very bright red on the exterior, morellos have dark red flesh/juice with darker red skins. Montmorency is by far the most common amarelle. Popular morello varieties include Balatons and English morellos. The orchard we visited this summer had Montmorency, English morello and another morello variety (the lady working didn’t know the exact name). In my experience morello varieties tend to be a little sweeter than Montmorencys but these unknowns were much more tart. I kept them separated and will experiment with sugar levels in recipes.

ETA: I think the variety may have been Danube. The trees had an unusual weeping habit that I haven’t seen before, which apparently is typical of older Danube trees.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold