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Handling Tart Cherries - Buying, Storing, and Freezing How tos

Updated on June 13, 2011
Cherries photo: Darwin Bell @flickr
Cherries photo: Darwin Bell @flickr

Tart Cherries or Sour Cherries

The tart cherry may also be called the sour cherry or the pie cherry. The tart cherry will be smaller compared to the sweet cherry. It's most commonly known as a favorite ingredient to use in sweets, sauces and other recipes. The fresh cherries are perfect for jellies and drinks. They go well with many meats. Dried cherries make a fantastic addition to salads and a quick health treat. Tart cherries are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free. They are very good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.

Sadly, fresh cherries are just available throughout the brief crop season during July. Because they are extremely subject to spoiling, cherries need to be promptly prepared once they are harvested. As soon as they are harvested, cleaned and divided, the fresh cherries are then canned, frozen, juiced, concentrated or dehydrated.

How to Pick Fresh Cherries - Buying Fresh Cherries

Pick vibrant, red cherries that look clean. Ripe cherrries will be shiny and plump. They should have even coloring and ripeness. They should be free of spots. Use as shortly after buying or picking as you possibly can for optimum taste and quality.

How to Store Cherries

Save fresh cherries uncovered inside the fridge for approximately 4-5 days. Don't clean them til you are ready to use. Humidity and water can accelerate mildew and mold growth.

 Following are guidelines for properly handling sour cherries:

Storage: The simplest way to store the fresh cherries would be to put them within a plastic bag. The fresh cherries are only going to keep for approximately four days.

Canned cherries can keep for about a year. Once you open them, they may continue to stay fresh for about one week.

How to Freeze Cherries

Freeze cherries as soon after picking as you possibly can. It will help ensure the best quality. Remove the stems. Sort the cherries, discarding any that are mushy, sticky, or turning brown. Rinse the good ones in cold water. Strain them.

The next step should be to pit the cherry using a cherry pitter or a sharpened chef's knife. The cherry pitter is the most handy because you simply put the whole cherry in the pitter and squeeze. It will take out the pit, causing a neat hole from the pit. Strain well again.

Pack within airtight storage containers or inside freezer quality plastic storage bags. Freezer cherries can be kept for a year.

Video About Cherry Harvesting

Handling Tart Cherries - Buying, Storing and Freezing Comments

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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      Just what I was looking for. Although it is early this year all the Cherries have been already picked and it is only the first week of June. I don't have a cherry pitter so will have to do with a knife. They will be frozen! Thanks for this hub.