There has been a long standing debate on whether fresh cherries are better than the canned or bottled ones. There are of course, purists who would say that fresh ones are always better especially since they don’t have any added sugar or preservatives. However, the other side of the story is that there are fruits that taste better or blend better to dishes once they have been treated – either with salt or sugar.
Cherries, being a stone fruit, is said to be one of these. Stone fruits are fruits with pits or large seeds inside of them. Other stone fruits are apricots, peaches, prunes, plums and many more. These fruits are picked when they are at their freshest, split and pits taken out. The fruits are then cured or preserved with sugar in order to store them for future use. When they have been prepared this way, they can keep for months and can be used for various food preparations.
If eaten fresh, they are plump and juicy, but the window for enjoying them is only a few short weeks. In the case of cherries, they are sweet and tart when enjoyed fresh and lend well to savory dishes. They can be added to sauces, made into sorbets, or enjoyed as is. However, when they are made into jams or candied, they keep for months or even years and are used for a wide range of sweet desserts and pastries. Candied cherries are made into topping, jams, compotes, ice cream and many other food preparations. The taste of cherries still shine through although they are mixed in with sugar.
Where to Get the Best Tasting Cherries
The secret to great tasting cherry preserves is harvesting the fruits when they are at their freshest. Picked from the best cherry tree, cherries are a great addition to various food preparations. If you’re fortunate enough to have cherry trees on your backyard, then you know that the trees also need the best care in order to yield the juiciest and plumpest fruits. Take care of the trees by watering them regularly, adding natural fertilizer, and getting rid of weeds in the area. According to experts, it’s not a good idea to plant trees so close together, since these can crowd the roots and the branches. Proper spacing also allows the trees to grow bigger over time.
Also, when you notice that the branches are becoming too crowded, you can prune a few to make the growth more even. This helps the trees become healthier over the years. The healthier they are, the more fruit they bear and the larger and sweeter the cherries you can harvest.
When it comes to preparing the cherry fruits, it is advisable to pick them when they are ripe. This is the stage when they are at their peak. If you enjoy eating fresh cherries, this is the time to indulge; and whatever is left behind can be preserved and cured for winter or other seasons. Prepare the jams and preserves yourself so you can be sure that there are no extenders, artificial sweeteners or additives that get into your jams and candies.
This way you will get to enjoy the best of both worlds – fresh and canned cherries from your own trees!