WHAT IS A CHERRY?
They are small, round stone fruits that range in color from yellow to red to black. Available in both a sweet and sour variety, in order for this tree to flower it needs a minimum of 800 hours of “winter” (temperatures under 45 Farenheit / 7 Celsius). And these trees can grow up to 100 feet (30 meters) tall! Today Turkey is the world’s largest producer of both sweet and sour cherries.
WHY ARE CHERRIES GOOD FOR YOU?
Made up mostly of water, they are somewhat barren of essential nutrients. Most of their health benefits come in the form of fiber and vitamin C. The darker the cherry color, the more vitamins and antioxidants it contains. Also cherries contain melatonin, a hormone found in the pineal gland of the brain that slows the aging process.
WHEN ARE CHERRIES IN SEASON?
In the southern hemisphere the Australian cherry season is from October to February. North of the equator they are a May through August crop.
HOW SHOULD CHERRIES BE STORED?
Don’t wash them. Instead put them in a plastic bag and immediately refrigerate. This fruit doesn’t emit a lot of gas (like blueberries) and so won’t ripen faster when stored in a paper bag. Cherries will absorb other flavors so avoid putting them next to pungent foods like onions or Taleggio.
WHY DO BATS THAT EAT CHERRIES GROW SO BIG?
With sharp, vampire like incisors and a rough tongue, fruit bats are ideally suited to their diet. Also known as a flying fox or megabat, they are not vegetarians and will snack on a small mammal now and again. Unlike the rest of their winged cousins, fruit bats don’t live in caves. Instead they hang upside down from the branches of fruit trees. By being able to also digest fruit, this evolutionary twist allows them to eat a much broader range of food. A larger caloric intake in turn allowed fruit bats to increase in size. With a wingspan of over 5 feet (1.7 meters) and large eyes, make sure you don’t qualify as a “small mammal” when they’re around!