Hi we are cheerful cherries and we’re happy you’ve visited our page. We're one of the most popular fruits around and people like to have us at parties, celebrations and holidays in the summer. We are sweet and juicy and make the perfect quick snack.
Have you ever tried to put us on your ears like earrings? It’s silly and fun. You can also make a necklace with us by tying a string around our stems.
Let me tell you more about us. We belong to the stone fruit family along with apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums. Our parent trees have grey bark and grow to about 10 metres tall. Our green leaves are oval, long and slender. In spring, cherry trees are massed with beautiful white and pink blossoms, these turn into bunches of one to three fruits, which are harvested when ripe.
We're round to heart-shaped, with our green stalk attached. Our skin is usually smooth, glossy, red to deep red or black in colour, and we have red to crimson or creamy white, soft, moist, sweet flesh. In our centre lies an oval seed but the best part is our sweet, juicy flesh.
We're available from October to February and are at our best value from late November to January.
A cherry is more than just a cherry. There around 40 different varieties grown in Australia, every variety differs from the next by its size, skin and flesh colour, flavour, sweetness, maturity (how long the cherry takes to grow from blossom to ready to pick time) and where it is best grown.
Most greengrocers do not sell cherries by variety, when displaying them on display; however, if you are buying a box of cherries throughout the season you will see different variety names on the box.
Popular cherry varieties include; Australise, Bing, Black Star, Black Star, Brooks, Burlat, Chelan, Earlise, Earlisweet, Early Sweet, Empress, Kordia, Lamberte, Lapin, Merchant, Rainier, Regina, Rons Seedling, Royal Rainier, Samba, Simone, Stella, Summit, Sunburst, Supreme, Sweet Georgia, Sweetheart, Sylvia, Van and Vista.
We prefer to be located on well-drained soil that is not too wet and not too dry, in a temperate climate but we do require a winter chill for the best crops.
Cherries are not grown from seeds. The buds from a cherry tree are cut from a healthy tree. These buds are then grafted to the root of a cherry tree that is selected for its good growing habit – resistance to temperatures, pests and diseases. These trees will then bear cherries that are of the same variety as those from which the buds were cut.
Cherry trees have beautiful small white or pink flowers that bloom from September. White flowers generally appear on cherry trees in orchards while pink flowers bear no fruit and are used to help fertilise the other trees in the orchard. Six to eight weeks later, depending on the location, the cherry harvest can begin in October. Cherry trees will begin producing marketable crops after 6 to 8 years and continue producing good-eating fruit for up to 100 years.
We don't ripen after we have been picked so care must be taken to ensure we're picked close to maturity. We're picked by hand, with our stems attached to prolong our shelf life.
Select those of us with plump, glossy skins and green stems. Our skin and flesh colour depend on our variety. Avoid soft, dull or bruised fruit. Small hard cherries lack flavour and juice.
Don’t leave us out of the fridge. Quickly store us in a reusable container or recyclable bag in your fridge. We're delicate so eat us within a few days.
We've been in cultivation for many centuries and the origin of our various varieties is often impossible to trace. ‘Sweet' cherries are thought to have come from a wild cherry which grows in an area from the United Kingdom to western Asia. Since ancient times the trees with the sweetest fruit have been selected for cultivation and from these, the modern varieties have arisen.
The Romans are thought to have taken their preferred varieties to Britain when occupying the country in the 1st century AD. We're now grown in large quantities in Turkey, the USA, Italy, Spain and Iran. In Japan, the cherry-flowering season has been celebrated for centuries, being an important time for religious festivals at which people celebrate the coming of spring.
In Australia, the first commercial cherry orchard was planted at Young in New South Wales in 1878. Young has continued to grow cherries since then. Today NSW, Victoria and Tasmania are the major cherry-growing areas of Australia. However, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland also produce some of the cherries found in greengrocer and supermarkets.
We're great for snacks, school lunch boxes, fruit and cheese platters and salads.
We can also be stewed, poached, pan-cooked or microwaved until tender. .
We're delicious served with ice cream or yoghurt, in fruit salads, on a pavlova, in muffins, pies and crepes. cakes, pies and crepes.
Dip cherries in melted chocolate for a sweet treat for celebrations.
Gently cook cherries with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a sauce to go with ham or turkey at Christmas.
Stems and stones can be removed with a cherry pitter (available in kitchen ware shops) before cooking.
Here are some delicious Sydney Markets cherry recipes for you to try: