Featured This Week:
It is finally the first day of July! And, as we settle into our lazy summer days, don’t be so relaxed that you forget to buy and enjoy Rainier Cherries. The season is, if we’re lucky, 6-7 weeks! Unlike other fruits, they can only be bought and enjoyed in the summer. July 11th is National Rainier Cherry Day, the only nationally recognized day to commemorate a cherry variety. If you assumed it was named after Mt. Rainier, the 14k + volcano/mountain just outside of Seattle, you would be correct! This blushing variety was developed in 1952 by cross-pollinating two cherry varieties, the Van and the Bing. The result was an exceptional new cherry!
Although Rainiers can be more expensive, they are worth their weight in gold! The delicate Rainier tends to be a little more work for growers. They are not only loved by humans but birds too! Who can blame them? Growers go to great lengths to cover trees and deter birds from oversampling in their groves. Rainiers are prone to bruise more easily, which makes it easy for us to pick good fruit, but presents added challenges for growers. They are also more likely to be damaged by the weather, like rain or wind, than other varieties. Here’s the big BUT…they are naturally larger and sweeter than other varieties. They have a higher Brix level, which is the amount of sugar in the fruit. Basically, one-fifth of each cherry is sugar! Yes, Rainiers are beauty queens, but they are not just a pretty face. They have a complex flavor that is intensely sweet, sometimes a little bitter, but with a caramel type finish. Oh and the texture! The Rainier has a smooth and creamy texture in your mouth. As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!” Rainier cherries will not disappoint!
These gorgeous little stone fruits won’t be around for long. Buy them by the bag full each week, and enjoy them while you can! They are just perfect for eating out of hand, and if you’re feeling generous…sharing!
Currently, the Northwest cherry crop has been running approximately 5-7 days behind schedule due to cold weather and rain. Luckily, there is warmer weather for the coming week! We expect to see the pressure on the supply side lighten up a bit.
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