In honor of George Washington, I thought it would be apropos to discuss cherries. Did you know the state of Washington is the largest supplier of cherries? Coincidence…I do not think so. I know it is a summer fruit and we are still in the midst of winter, but anytime is a great time to crave cherries! I would do anything for a ripe, juicy cherry right now; it is my favorite fruit.
Thank goodness there are other ways of satisfying a cherry fix out of season, for example: dried cherries, frozen cherries, cherries in pie filling or in heavy syrup. On our Italian Market tour we stop at a local iconic cheese shop where we sample Bolognese cherries marinated in heavy syrup. Bolognese cherries are wild cherries that have been cooked in sugar and water and result in lush rich syrup. They are delectable, sweet, and tart. You can put this on any dessert like cheesecake, ice cream, or on top of cheese and crackers for your next cocktail party; or simply eat them out of the jar, like I do.
Cherries are part of the Prunus family and include apricots, almonds, peaches, and plums. There are quite a few varieties of cherries like Rainier, Bing, Montmorency, and Black. Cherries date back to pre-historic times. According to Wikipedia, it was recorded in 72 BC that Lucius Licinius Lucullus brought the cultivated cherry to Rome from Turkey.
Folklore has it that cherries are the food of love. They are also rich in anti- oxidants and help reduce inflammation. So not only do they taste great, but they bring love and good health.
National Cherry Pie Day is celebrated on February 20th; I guess that means we can have a guilt-free second slice!
For more information on our culinary tour of the Italian Market, please call Chef Jacquie at (610) 506-6120.