Cherries originated in South Eastern Europe and this legacy is evident in the presence of cherries in Eastern European recipes. In Australia the vast majority of Australian cherries are grown in Young and Orange.
Selection, Storage and Availability
Choose full sized cherries that are shiny with green stems and unmarked flesh. Cherries are very susceptible to rain and hail and this is why the fruit can be expensive. Different varieties of cherries can range from light red to almost black when ripe. Thus, some cherry varieties are overrripe when black while some are perfect to eat when they reach this colour. Ask your greengrocer for assistance or try one before you buy (just dont put the pip back in with the cherries!!!). Store cherries with their stalks on in a bag in the refrigerator, or freeze for cooking with or without their pips . Cherries are available from November-February.
Cherries look and taste great so place in a bowl on the table with a small dish for pips for viewing and enjoyment! Cherries can be cooked whole or with their pips removed, make sure you warn your guests if the pips have not been removed. Cook cherries in a non-aluminium saucepan so that they do not lose too much colour. To stone cherries make a slit near the top of the cherry and remove pip using your finger or a small knife. Once stoned cook cherries as soon as possible as they will lose their colour. Cherries can be preserved, pickled or poached.
Cherries are high in fibre and vitamin C.