At Elite Farms we see a lot of fruits and vegetables move in and out of our doors. While we typically try to appreciate all our produce for their unique values, we wanted to spotlight our now-in-season cherries this month. Between the insurmountable health benefits associated with this superfood and the incredible taste, what’s not to love? So here are a few of the fast facts about cherries from the team that really knows berries (or in this case drupes).
Fast Fact #1: Cherries are drupes.
What’s a drupe you ask? Well, in a lot of ways, it’s a fancy way of saying any fruit with a soft skin and a pit or single seed in the center. The pit typically stands as a defining characteristic between berries and drupes. Berries are drupes, but not all berries are drupes.
Fast Fact #2: With a short peak season in the United States, producers still manage to pack on the pounds.
While cherries tend to be a bit more delicate in terms of handling, harvesting and maintaining in stores, that doesn’t stop people from enjoying them here stateside. As Dr. Mercola explains, “Cherries are a favorite summer fruit in the US, where about 370 million pounds are grown each year. With a short peak season (May to July), high susceptibility to disease and short shelf life after harvest, cherry season comes and goes in the blink of an eye.”
Fast Fact #3: Michigan loves cherries.
Aside from being home to more than 35,000 acres of tart cherry trees, which accounts for almost 75% of the tart cherries grown in the U.S., Traverse, Michigan is also home to the annual National Cherry Festival and the International Cherry Pit Spit contest. Needless to say, if you find yourself looking for some cheerful, cherry-themed fun, you better add Michigan to the list.
Fast Fact #4: Washington has a sweet spot for cherries too.
While Michigan dominates the tart cherry industry, Washington dominates the sweet section. In fact, according to Jeff Wells, “Washington grows an estimated 62 percent of the nation’s sweet cherries, the popular species that’s commonly eaten raw during the summertime.” If you find yourself wondering which is which, sweet cherries are typically gobbled up right of the tree, while tart ones work better for cooking and baking like cherry pies.
Fast Fact #5: Elite Farms is currently in our peak cherry season!
While we offer cherries as often as possible, May through July is our prime time for this delicious fruit since many of our U.S. growers have cherries in season this time of year. Having a stateside growing network in addition to our international producers, helps us source the freshest fruit year-round for our customers.