Cherry Varieties: What to Look for at a Cherry-Picking Farm

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The experience of handpicking cherries straight from the orchard can be delightful, but it's essential to know what to look for when choosing the best cherry varieties. In this article, we will explore the different cherry varieties you might find at a cherry-picking farm and provide tips to help you make the most of your cherry-picking experience.

Sweet Cherries

Sweet cherries are the most popular varieties for fresh consumption. They are known for their juicy and flavorful taste, making them perfect for enjoying as a snack or use in desserts. These cherries are typically larger, with a deep red or yellow skin, depending on the variety. Choose cherries that are fully ripe, firm, and plump for the best flavor.

Sour Cherries

Sour cherries, also known as tart cherries, are used primarily for cooking and baking due to their tangy flavor. If you're a fan of cherry pies, tarts, or jams, sour cherries are the way to go. Sour cherries are smaller and have bright red or dark red skin. They are best picked when slightly underripe, as their sharp flavor mellows when cooked or processed.

Rainier Cherries

Rainier cherries are a unique and highly sought-after variety due to their sweet, delicate flavor and beautiful appearance. These cherries have a yellow or golden skin with a pinkish blush, making them stand out among other cherry varieties. Rainier cherries are typically larger and have a creamy-yellow flesh. As they are more fragile than other cherries, be careful when picking and handling them. Look for Rainier cherries that are fully ripe with no blemishes for the best tasting experience.

Black Cherries

Black cherries, also known as dark sweet cherries, have a deep purple-black skin and a rich, sweet flavor. They are often used for canning or preserving due to their ability to retain their sweetness and texture. Black cherries tend to be larger and should be picked when fully ripe, with a firm and shiny appearance.

When visiting a cherry-picking farm, keep in mind that the ripeness and quality of the cherries can vary throughout the season. It's best to check with the farm or orchard beforehand to ensure that they have the specific cherry varieties you're interested in. Additionally, remember to bring comfortable clothes, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun while enjoying your cherry-picking adventure. Visiting a cherry-picking farm is a wonderful way to enjoy the deliciousness of freshly picked cherries. By familiarizing yourself with different cherry varieties and knowing what to look for, you can make the most of your cherry-picking experience and savor the flavors of these delightful fruits. 

Find a cherry-picking farm near you today.

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